Mixed-use development has a broad meaning in architecture and development circles. It can be a general description about a space or a place that shares different uses, or it can also be used as a term to describe a building in terms of its planning use. So as a development and planning term, ‘mixed use’ can be used to describe a building that would typically be a mix of both commercial and residential functions.
Some properties still bear the scars of the previous inhabitants and hint at the stories beneath. So, for example, we’ve taken possession of betting offices with safes buried in the floors and turned them into high quality apartments, taken uncovered forgotten brick arches under pavements and turned them into sunken bedrooms. We stripped buildings back to their bare bones and injected a new use into commercially dead shells and created vibrant mixed-use developments.
We have developed MOT stations and derelict garages that have had past lives as places where all sorts of illegal activities have taken place. These spaces were black spots in the minds of local communities. We have engaged with and listened to those local people and helped move those spaces and places from areas dominated by gangs into beautiful residential interventions and mixed-use developments that breathe new life into the surrounding areas, raising property prices for all.
Contact Unit One Architects today to discuss the potential of mixed-use development, taking advantage of our development consultancy expertise on any aspect of a building project.
The key with properties such as old pubs, banks and offices is how to create the best combination of new uses in order to create a viable mixed-use development.
The question is how to breathe new life back into the buildings, respect their character and also get the best commercial return for our clients. So achieving a change of use on an old shop into a higher value professional office can be a necessary bargaining chip in order to unlock a new residential unit in the basement, or to split an upper maisonette into multiple flats.
Character & Transformation
We love this process, the retention and transformation of things with character, and the creation of new buildings on derelict pieces of land with an industrial past – working with the planners and the planning policies in order to really understand what mix of uses is possible and what is commercially viable. At Unit One Architects, we help our clients form a clear idea of how to deliver the best possible mixed-use development.