Designing for Developers

At ASJ Design we have a long history working with developers as an integral member of multi-disciplinary teams and we are proud of our significant successes in this world.


However, although prestige and reputation are important to our developer clients, they have to be focussed on their margin and the gross development value of their sites. We find the best results come when we can assist with this right from project initiation to end product marketing. Whether it is ensuring floorplans maximise potential and meet market expectations, or that the finishes deliver that “wow” factor essential for marketing, yet all meet budgetary restrictions.


Along with new build sites, we have found many recent development opportunities brought to us lie in repurposed commercial space.


Two good examples of these were a couple of redundant commercial buildings that we helped transform this year. Interestingly both are listed buildings, which presented a number of significant challenges that perhaps deterred a number of other developers from getting involved.



The first began life as a residential house in a city centre but had been used as council offices for a number of decades. Now a three bedroomed home with the all-important open plan family space, including a kitchen and living space, and highly prized secure off-street parking.


We encouraged the developer to include a detached home office within the courtyard garden. As it transpired, outside space and home offices proved the most popular search criteria for a family sized home in 2021!



The second project started life in Georgian times as a Municipal Hall, once serving as a musical theatre hall and even a public bathing hall. It latterly became a rather tired office space, which ultimately became vacant and what was once a very grand and impressive building lay empty and unloved.


The development now includes six one bedded apartments all of which benefit from the original classical detailing: panelled walls, large sash windows and a grand entrance hall and staircase. We worked closely with the team to ensure that the interior finishes and colourways were suitable for the heritage setting whilst ensuring practicality, especially in communal areas.



Up on the top floor of the building, again we worked hard with the team to showcase original details such as the oak beam work. Space planning was key here as some areas had restricted ceiling height, so layouts of internal spaces were critical.


We are excited that 2022 will see us working on a pair of new build country cottages and a small terrace of exclusive homes enclosed by an ancient boundary wall. These new homes will be rightly challenged to be as sustainable as possible, so we are really looking forward to helping to deliver all the “green” benefits whilst not sacrificing the quality of the design or the budget along the way!