North London, UK
Mixed use - Commercial, Retail and Residential
Sunshine Gardens is a mixed use development being spearheaded by architects Forge Design Studio and the land owners.
Forge Design Studio provide refined and elegant design solutions for evolving briefs and that deliver well-crafted, beautiful buildings.
This project focused on the redevelopment of an existing site the was home to a long-standing garden centre. The Sunshine Garden Centre was established in 1990 and has provided exemplary services since then, so much so that it was named London’s Best Garden Centre, as voted by the Garden Centre Association. This new development was focused around expanding the garden centre, not only in terms of size and modernity to the retail space, but also to develop beyond being a garden centre and grow into a large-scale masterplan for the immediate local area. Blossoming into something more, a location that would not only provide a place to visit but a place to dine, shop and even live.
Growth was vital, redevelopment of the site would allow for a variety of buildings to be added to the site. A 5 storey building comprised of 1, 2 and 3 bedroom residential apartments overlooks the modernised and expanded garden centre, that now boasts over 36,000 SQFT of space. With over 7,000 SQFT of commercial space added throughout the complex, and 128 parking spaces to allow for the expectation of large footfalls.
North Made Studio were approached by the developers to create a selection of architectural visualisations that would allow key aspects of the development to be seen and showcased. Ultimately the CGI shots would form a key part of the planning proposal for the redevelopment of the site and local area. Having high quality visuals is a must for development of this stature. Accurately communicating a developments’ identity and visually exploring how it will impact the local area is incredibly beneficial for planning proposals and consent.
In total North Made Studio produced 4 final visualisations of the site from differing angles and viewpoints. Two aerial site plan shots to illustrate the impact of the development on the surrounding area, how it mixed in well with existing green areas and parks. And how the existing residential homes within the neighbourhood would not be impacted.
Two lower level shots were also produced to allow more details of the site to be explored. Giving views into the garden centre and visualising how the local residents would interact with the development.
The CGIs are created using a photomontage technique that merges a Google Earth image of the North London location with the CGI 3D model of the buildings. Google Earth shots are rarely perfect, but offer a good solution when budgets do not allow for drone photography or on projects such as this that are for planning approval, where the focus is on the buildings and their detail rather than the local area.
All aspects of the development were visualised, the 5-storey apartment building, the 4 storey commercial space and the multi-level main garden centre that stands proud at the front of the development, above an underground car parking area.
Materiality was important and formed part of a testing procedure for the creation of the CGIs. As the project evolved our design team added different materials specifications to different areas to allow the developers and architects to decide on the final scheme. The final material specification resulted in a mix of zinc cladding, grey/brown brick walls, white rendered walls, glazed (greenhouse style) roofs and flat green-roofs. The mix of materials throughout all buildings of the development help to bring them together and tie all aspects into the same design aesthetic, nothing looks disjointed or out of place.
Community creation is the end result/aim of the Sunshine Gardens redevelopment. Allowing over 50’s and retirees to relocate to over 50,000 SQFT of purpose-built apartments that are within walking distance of lots of lovely green areas and all the amenities that the complex has to offer. A stroll around the garden centre, a browse in the shops, stopping for a coffee and slice of cake at the café, it’s all part of the lifestyle that the development brings to the area.