Delivering complex regeneration projects
Associate, Karakusevic Carson Architects
Caroline Hull graduated from the Mackintosh School of Architecture in 2009, having won the Bourdon Prize for Architecture. Since then she has delivered a wide range of urban regeneration, housing and education projects across London. Many of her schemes have been complex regeneration projects with an existing community of residents and end-users. From this experience she has developed a unique skill set and now works in close association with multiple local authorities and pro-active residents groups to help them achieve the best for their communities, all while delivering high quality architecture.
Before joining Karakusevic Carson Architects in 2012, Hull worked at Julian Cowie Architects and at Avanti Architects where, as project leader, she delivered the phase 2 construction of a secondary school in Tower Hamlets less than two years post-part 2. At Karakusevic Carson she has led the design and delivery of a number of successful projects including the Bacton Estate regeneration in Gospel Oak and the Ponders End Electric Quarter masterplan.
At Bacton, Hull has led the project from brief analysis and masterplan strategy through to detailed planning approval and up to delivery of the full RIBA Stage E/F(4) detailed design packages. From the outset, it was clear that although the material fabric of the estate was in poor repair, there was a coherent community spirit among residents. Hull ran a significant programme of engagement involving a large number of meetings to give these residents a platform. Through her skilful leadership and management, she gained support among residents, local stakeholders, planning and design officers while maintaining a rigorous focus on design quality.
Likewise, at Ponders End, Hull has led a scheme for 167 homes for the London Borough of Enfield to planning approval. Her work has demonstrated great tenacity in the face of an area of low value on a site with complex landowning issues. This was further complicated by the government’s plans to purchase a significant part of the plot for a secondary school half way through the programme. Despite changing parameters, Hull shifted the focus of the project to create positive new connections with the local high street and concentrate on the regeneration of the townscape and public realm.
What would you most like to improve about the industry?
I would like a higher degree of control for architects over development policy and national housing standards. Quality architecture is integral to a design process that delivers a lasting legacy and yet architects seldom have the opportunity to directly influence national policy. This is especially true for the housing sector and the structure embedded in the design and build process. It means forming legislation at a central government level that reflects the wider needs of our society.
Who would you most like to work with?
I would be interested in initiating an international think-tank that aspires to form new ideas for co-housing based on principles being championed by some of the councils in Scandinavia, but that builds on the pioneering examples of resident and community engagement that we have established in practice on estates across London. I firmly believe that active engagement that champions the community ensures that considerate and coherent design solutions emerge.
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