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Working together to help you live better
We’re multidisciplined – architects, designers, workplace consultants, technologists, project managers and marketers – all working together to create spaces where people can live the way they want.
Know us in five
“We aren’t architects at the beck and call of developers. We’re in a position that gives us more control and freedom to do things exactly how we think they should be done.”
We’re the parent company responsible for a range of developments. We give each one its own distinct character. And we build all of them with craft and care for better living.
We draw on our 15 years’ experience to create the right spaces for individuals and the wider community. We don’t build boxes. We know one size doesn’t fit all. Everything we do is bespoke to the people who use our spaces.
We grew frustrated of developers dumbing down the design of their schemes for short-term profit and gain. So, we decided to set up as both architect and developer. A position that gives us more control and freedom to do things exactly how we think they should be done. What we’re really interested in is creating a better environment for everyone.
“It’s about creating spaces where people thrive because the design has been drawn around them, for them, with their needs in mind.”
We believe that developments don’t have to be created in a formulaic way. They don’t have to be driven by profit and planning. UrbanLab are different. We challenge the status quo. We want to do the right thing for people through design.
Our design is informed by in-depth research into how people interact with space. That’s a key part of our approach. Rather than trying to fit people into a building it’s about the building fitting the people. It’s about creating spaces where people thrive because the design has been drawn around them, for them, with their needs in mind.
To sum it up in a few words: we put people first.
“We’re conscious and respectful of the neighbourhood around us and work hard to devise spaces that create a sense of belonging.”
With the community
Our work can have a big impact on communities. That’s what we care about – and that’s why we put them at heart of everything we do.
We’re conscious and respectful of the neighbourhood around us, and work hard to devise spaces that create a sense of belonging. Our developments are true to their design and the communities they were designed for. No compromise.
On top of this, we give 10% of our profits to community projects through The Lab Foundation. This is a non-profit organisation that we set up ourselves. We wanted to give something back – to make a tangible difference. And The Lab Foundation is our way of putting money into things we think should be better in society, from creating better learning environments for school children to even helping prisons rehabilitate offenders.
We call this ‘full-circle development’. The idea being that our work starts and ends with the individuals and communities who’ll benefit from our spaces.
“There is this notion [in architecture] of building in the landscape, but we never think of it from inside looking out. We start from the inside. This isn’t a traditional approach, it’s non-conformist but it ensures that people come first.”
An idea in the minds of two architects
UrbanLab founders, Andrew and Nathan met while studying architecture at university. And that’s when the thought struck them: “We’re learning how to draw buildings, but we’re not learning about people. Why don’t we create buildings from the inside-out rather than the outside-in? Why don’t we look closely at how people live in these spaces?”
They shared the belief that social science and architectural creativity could – and should – complement one another. So they built a firm based firmly on this ethos.
“It shouldn’t be all about your balance sheet. At the end of each year, we measure ourselves on what we’ve given back to people in a community – how we’ve made a lasting difference to their lives.”
Putting people at the heart
We went into architecture in the first place to create positive, lasting change. It’s about more than just quickly knocking up a building that complies with regulations.
Our approach is joined-up and holistic. We consider space, community, education. We have a chance to change them – to make them better.
It shouldn’t be all about your balance sheet. At the end of each year, we measure ourselves on what we’ve given back to people in a community – how we’ve made a lasting difference to their lives. People are our balance sheet.