CLIENT OPINION

Cestria Housing

“Cestria appointed JDDK to assist in designing a contemporary family housing scheme on a small site within the constraints of an existing, traditional ex-council housing estate. Given the small site maximising the number of units to ensure viability, whilst not affecting quality and originality, was paramount. The units were designed to CfSH...

“Cestria appointed JDDK to assist in designing a contemporary family housing scheme on a small site within the constraints of an existing, traditional ex-council housing estate.

Given the small site maximising the number of units to ensure viability, whilst not affecting quality and originality, was paramount.

The units were designed to CfSH level 3 and whilst trying to mirror elements of traditional features of surrounding properties, JDDK utilised a mix of external materials such as render cladding and anthracite windows to create a modern, fresh looking property not typical for ‘social housing’. Internally the units provide spacious and functional family space with such features as the wide hallways, storage and external seating very well received by residents.

We have found working with JDDK very easy – as an architect they understand and interpret what we are aiming to achieve with our development aspirations whilst recognising budgetary constraints.”

Stephen Riding, Cestria Housing

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St Oswald’s Hospice

“St Oswald’s Hospice Ltd has had a highly successful and extremely good working relationship with JDDK over the past 25 years. They initially designed our Adult Inpatient Unit, which has won many architectural awards. Consequently, due to the success of that design, their understanding of Hospice principles and our requirements, we have used...

“St Oswald’s Hospice Ltd has had a highly successful and extremely good working relationship with JDDK over the past 25 years.

They initially designed our Adult Inpatient Unit, which has won many architectural awards. Consequently, due to the success of that design, their understanding of Hospice principles and our requirements, we have used their services for all our subsequent developments and refurbishments as follows:

• Day Hospice development
• Conversion of garages into the Information and Gift Shop
• The Children’s Hospice – opened in 2003
• Outpatient Suite – opened in 2009 and a winner in two categories of the Lord Mayor’s Awards in December 2009, followed by an award in RICS 2010
• Adult Inpatient Unit refurbishment in 2010/11
• Day Hospice refurbishment in 2010/11

Each design during the 25 year period has incorporated not only the changing needs of St Oswald’s, but also designed in line with the most up to date and sustainable materials, as well as the ever demanding legislation.

In addition to the above, one of the most important aspects for a successful working relationship for St Oswald’s has been, and still is, the continuity of the creative, forward-looking and down-to earth high quality service, together with good communication.

JDDK have provided exceedingly good value for money not only in terms of the professional services they have given, but by also taking into account our needs leading to the ultimate successful design and completion of each project..”

James Ellam, Chief Executive, St Oswald’s Hospice

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ISOS Housing Ltd

“ISOS and JDDK have enjoyed a fruitful relationship for many years. Their attention to detail and a passion for excellent design is the reason why we continually appoint them to many of our most high profile and complex projects. JDDK’s positive approach to working closely with our wider design team means that projects are delivered to a high...

“ISOS and JDDK have enjoyed a fruitful relationship for many years. Their attention to detail and a passion for excellent design is the reason why we continually appoint them to many of our most high profile and complex projects.

JDDK’s positive approach to working closely with our wider design team means that projects are delivered to a high standard within challenging cost and timescale constraints. It is for these reasons that I am very happy to commend the services of JDDK.”

Michael Farr, Executive Director Development & Property, ISOS Housing Ltd

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Gentoo Homes Ltd

“Gentoo Homes has enjoyed a very successful working relationship with JDDK for many years and their performance to date is to a very high standard, exhibiting a commitment to the work and the Group’s partnering objectives, interacting closely with the client and residents alike. The range of housing schemes on which we have worked has been...

“Gentoo Homes has enjoyed a very successful working relationship with JDDK for many years and their performance to date is to a very high standard, exhibiting a commitment to the work and the Group’s partnering objectives, interacting closely with the client and residents alike.

The range of housing schemes on which we have worked has been diverse in scale and nature and rarely straight forward be it in planning, design or commercial terms. Examples include the Doxford Park project which was a major phased development of which Phases 1, 2 & 3 were successfully completed to budget and timescale with Phase 4 on site and 5 underway in the near future and a further phase planned. Recently completed schemes include the fantastic Humbles Wood, Prudhoe, development which provides a range of 2, 3, 4 & 5 bedroom homes of which the 4 and 5 bedroom properties were executive homes, and the project management and delivery of four modernisation schemes totaling over 440 homes in Sunderland.

JDDK’s approach has always been to understand our objectives first and then bring their design skills to bear upon the challenges of a particular development. JDDK have been instrumental in our recent success, managing development workshops with Local Authorities to ensure complex developments are progressed through the planning process smoothly and in optimum timescales. The practice has then continued to deliver a quality design consultancy and contract administration service throughout the project.

Positive working relationships are central characteristics of JDDK’s approach and the central role of the Directors in delivery of their project design and delivery is a central part of that, both in design terms and construction/buildability.

We have no hesitation in commending JDDK.”

Colin Wood, Head of Land, Planning and Development, Gentoo Homes Ltd

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Rivergreen Developments

“Rivergreen Developments plc has enjoyed a long, stable and successful working relationship with JDDK. Their approach has always been to understand our objectives first and then bring design skills to bear upon the challenges of a particular site. Thus the quality of outcome is not contingent upon sites being simple or budgets generous; rarely...

“Rivergreen Developments plc has enjoyed a long, stable and successful working relationship with JDDK. Their approach has always been to understand our objectives first and then bring design skills to bear upon the challenges of a particular site. Thus the quality of outcome is not contingent upon sites being simple or budgets generous; rarely are timescales relaxed or negotiations with planning authorities straightforward but nevertheless we have a successful track record of delivering successful schemes together. Our close collaboration extends from early feasibility study work through the detailed design process to on-site support, the latter involving a very productive liaison with our construction team.

Recent housing projects include the award-winning scheme at the Wynd, Amble, and earlier award winning housing projects include Pottergate, Alnwick, and Cleadon Pumping Station in South Tyneside. In addition, we have together undertaken numerous commercial projects from environmentally friendly offices through to heavily engineered data centres. The JDDK skill set has been particularly relevant to the many listed buildings that we have brought back into beneficial use.

We regard the practice very much as a long-tern strategic partner. The skills and commitment applied are, in our opinion, exceptional and the working relationships both constructive and pleasurable!”

Peter Candler, Managing Director, Rivergreen Developments plc

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St Columba’s Hospice

“Involved from concept through detailed design to construction, JDDK have demonstrated a sensitive understanding of the philosophy and rationale for Palliative Care. They have listened to the needs of our organisation and translated our requirements into an excellent design which will meet the future operational demands of the services we...

“Involved from concept through detailed design to construction, JDDK have demonstrated a sensitive understanding of the philosophy and rationale for Palliative Care. They have listened to the needs of our organisation and translated our requirements into an excellent design which will meet the future operational demands of the services we provide. The design is underpinned by a sound rationale within which an understanding of our patient, family and staff needs is apparent.

As Design Team Leader, JDDK have coordinated the team well, facilitating open communications, addressing H&S issues, identifying maintenance issues, advising on cost implications and have contributed to and adhered to a realistic programme. This has resulted in a genuine good working relationship between us as the client, the design team and contractor despite the unique complexities and challenges this project presents.

Phase I of our construction, St Columba’s Hospice Education Centre, was completed on time and under budget under the contract administration of JDDK. The finished building and landscaping are outstanding, drawing positive comments from all those using the building.

Phase II of our project, the building of our Hospice and refurbishment of our administration building, has resulted in a stunning facility. The new building compliments our old listed building beautifully and draws gasps of awe and delight with genuine admiration from all who see it for the first time. Out patient and their families are enjoying the large open spaces and spacious bedroom. JDDK have ensured beautiful grounds and also easy access to the sea views over the Firth of Forth for all within the hospice.

JDDK have demonstrated a high standard of professionalism and integrity throughout the project and have always been available. We are delighted with the design we have for our new Hospice and are grateful for their patience in our lack of knowledge in an unfamiliar process.”

Margaret F Dunbar, Chief Executive, St Columba’s Hospice

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Marie Curie Cancer Care, Solihull

“JDDK have worked with Marie Curie since 1990, delivering high quality palliative care buildings for our patients, carers and staff. I have personally been involved with two projects, the new Marie Curie Hospice in Glasgow, which was completed in 2010, and the new Hospice in the West Midlands, which is currently under construction and...

“JDDK have worked with Marie Curie since 1990, delivering high quality palliative care buildings for our patients, carers and staff. I have personally been involved with two projects, the new Marie Curie Hospice in Glasgow, which was completed in 2010, and the new Hospice in the West Midlands, which is currently under construction and approaching completion; it is on time and in budget. Both projects deliver an in-patient ward together with facilities for day care, out-patients and all supporting functions, in facilities of 5,200sq m and 4,700sq m respectively. Both projects were challenging – the Glasgow site was unusually steep and had strict financial restraints whilst the West Midlands site was extremely sensitive.

My thoughts on appointing design team members centre on two issue. Firstly, in the case of Architects, they must know their subject, in this case healthcare and hospices. I would push this further, being experienced in the technical knowledge related to hospices is not enough, that level of excellent knowledge would be a given: what is really important to me is their understanding of the operation of a hospice i.e. in crude terms understanding how our ‘caring business’ works. Only then can the technical knowledge be interpreted and delivered in a tailored and cost-effective solution to suit the client.

Secondly, I would look for wider professional skills such as client care, delivering to budget and programme. Leading the design team and being a significant part of the wider team are examples of this.

I believe JDDK have delivered and are delivering these two requirements for Marie Curie to an excellent standard.”

Simon Whelan, Interim Project Director, Marie Curie Cancer Care, Solihull

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Newcastle and Great North Museum

“JDDK worked with Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums on a project to refurbish a Grade II* listed railway station building, Monkwearmouth Station Museum (the building is owned by Sunderland City Council). I led the client team for TWAM. The work carried out by JDDK was competent and professional and showed a due respect for the integrity of the...

“JDDK worked with Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums on a project to refurbish a Grade II* listed railway station building, Monkwearmouth Station Museum (the building is owned by Sunderland City Council). I led the client team for TWAM.

The work carried out by JDDK was competent and professional and showed a due respect for the integrity of the fabric of the building as well as an awareness of the need to enhance its usefulness for contemporary needs. The Museum re-opened to the public in August 2007.

 

Helen White, Head of Museums, Gateshead, Newcastle and Great North Museum

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Newcastle City Council

“JDDK were commissioned by Newcastle City Council as Lead Design Consultants on a large number of Early Years capital projects between 2001-2012 and were engaged as one of the framework design partners to deliver the Sure Start Children’s Centre and Early Years Phase 2 and Phase 3 capital programmes including the Quality and Access for all...

“JDDK were commissioned by Newcastle City Council as Lead Design Consultants on a large number of Early Years capital projects between 2001-2012 and were engaged as one of the framework design partners to deliver the Sure Start Children’s Centre and Early Years Phase 2 and Phase 3 capital programmes including the Quality and Access for all young children capital programme and Extended Schools capital programme.

Whilst all of the projects were delivered on Early Years settings, the nature and scale of the design work varied from small scale external play area improvements on Nursery sites to large scale new build Sure Start Children’s Centres. The programmes presented many site specific and time driven challenges.

The projects on which JDDK were engaged were consistently delivered in a professional and skillful manner with excellent end-user engagement and appreciation of the client needs, priorities and aspirations.

JDDK were able to demonstrate a high quality service over the full range of project delivery including architectural design, landscape design, technical support and the commissioning and co-ordination of other design disciplines.

From the client Project Managers’ perspective, access was always available to Director Level to review overall programme progress or address any project specific issues, with resources being made available to deliver any actions resulting from these discussions. The skill and commitment shown by the individual members of the JDDK team was of a high quality throughout. I would have no hesitation recommending this practice for commissions of a similar nature.”

Malcolm Aitchison, Principal Technical Project Manager, Newcastle City Council

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Thirteen Group

“We here at Thirteen Group have been delighted to have forged some very positive partnership links with the JDDK team, producing some wonderful houses for my customers. I am really impressed with the way the staff at JDDK really take a hands-on approach to creating great designs in the spirit of partnership working within the team. We have...

“We here at Thirteen Group have been delighted to have forged some very positive partnership links with the JDDK team, producing some wonderful houses for my customers. I am really impressed with the way the staff at JDDK really take a hands-on approach to creating great designs in the spirit of partnership working within the team. We have made great strides working with the planning department, engineers and other strategy bodies because of this ‘can do’ approach.

Specifically, the team has been working hard with us to provide a standard house type with the aim of maximising the benefit to our customers and reducing costs and increasing the quality and predictability of construction. So at one level, this was a theoretical almost experimental role they had working with us but I am pleased to say that when the house had been rolled-out into the real world, they have been a resounding success. We have seen our costs be more predictable, lower and the feedback from our customers is that they really enjoy living in their new properties.

JDDK really understand the balance I have to take between the commercial hard-edge of reducing costs and maximising the number of plots on any particular site, but within an environment where they understand the various rules and regulations that I have to work within and know that my company will be looking after these properties for the years to come so need to be robust and well thought throughout.

We have worked in partnership with JDDK over many years – most recently producing homes in central Middleborough – and have only recently completed a £12 million development in Darlington where we were able to build homes for people on modest incomes where they would find it very difficult to buy a home outright. Through thoughtful and careful design, careful use of ecologically sustainable materials and creating a wonderful sense of community and space, we have been able to ‘sell’ over 100 units in an 18 month to two year period, which for an area just coming out of recession, is a great feat and a testament to the quality of the design and delivery of the homes.

I have no hesitation in recommending JDDK to other developers and contractors. ”

Clive Belfield, Head of Contracts and Construction, Thirteen Group

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Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB)

“The architectural plans for the Saltholme wildlife reserve and discovery centre were won by JDDK through an international competition. The final design successfully combined contemporary visitor and education facilities with sustainability. The Centre has a first floor café with panoramic views across the wetland reserve. The ground floor...

“The architectural plans for the Saltholme wildlife reserve and discovery centre were won by JDDK through an international competition.

The final design successfully combined contemporary visitor and education facilities with sustainability. The Centre has a first floor café with panoramic views across the wetland reserve. The ground floor has a spacious reception area with an atrium, viewing gallery and interpretation space, education room, retail space and the other usual visitor facilities.

The rammed-earth wall within the atrium is a particularly distinctive feature.

The Centre has now been open for three years and the spaces created by the architects work extremely well with visitor flow and visitor interest. Visitor surveys have consistently shown their appreciation of the building.

The design solution works on many levels but a key feature is how the viewing opportunities give the impression of bringing the outdoors inside; this was an important ambition of the project from both RSPB and Teesside Environmental Trust. We truly have a unique building that has won a number of awards and of which we are proud.”

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Northumberland Estates

“JDDK have provided architectural services to support planning applications for the Duke of Northumberland Estates for approximately 20 years. During this period, they have consistently produced extremely high quality designs and achieved excellent development solutions for a wide range of projects including new build  market housing,...

“JDDK have provided architectural services to support planning applications for the Duke of Northumberland Estates for approximately 20 years.

During this period, they have consistently produced extremely high quality designs and achieved excellent development solutions for a wide range of projects including new build  market housing, affordable housing, traditional farm building conversions for residential and holiday uses and new build office developments.

A fundamental factor of this success is the very friendly, yet highly professional working relationships employed by JDDK with The Northumberland Estates as client and also with other professionals, including local planning departments.

In working for the Northumberland Estates our project briefs can be quite wide ranging and complex across a number of types of development, however, JDDK always deliver innovative and flexible proposals that enable us to satisfy our requirements on a number of levels including design quality, cost and timescales. The Northumberland Estates have been involved in a number of projects with JDDK where they have eventually gone on to achieve regional and national awards for design and building excellence, which also pays tribute to their final build product and hence their working relationships with contractors on site.

The Northumberland Estates considers JDDK to be a very professional and competent architectural practice that is geared towards achieving high quality results on every occasion. In having this opinion of the company they are always invited to tender for new work relevant to their areas of expertise.”

Colin Barnes, Planning and Development Director, Northumberland Estates

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Barratt Homes

“JDDK have worked with Barratt plc for many years and enjoys a reputation second to none in the North East for prestigious developments. I am happy to engage JDDK having regard to their good working relationship with my staff and their effective relationships with planning departments throughout the North East. JDDK offer innovative design...

“JDDK have worked with Barratt plc for many years and enjoys a reputation second to none in the North East for prestigious developments. I am happy to engage JDDK having regard to their good working relationship with my staff and their effective relationships with planning departments throughout the North East.

JDDK offer innovative design solutions which can marry with the Barratt and David Wilson Homes house type range and systems. Quality of design is always at the forefront of JDDK schemes.”

Neil Milburn, Development Director, Barratt Homes plc

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Frank Haslam Milan

“We have worked successfully with JDDK now for a number of years. In that time, we have developed strong working relationships that have demonstrated that collaboration and joint working can deliver positive results. We have delivered a range of projects throughout the North East of England and can say that JDDK have played a major part...

“We have worked successfully with JDDK now for a number of years. In that time, we have developed strong working relationships that have demonstrated that collaboration and joint working can deliver positive results.

We have delivered a range of projects throughout the North East of England and can say that JDDK have played a major part within our team to ensure that we meet and, where possible, exceed our clients’ expectations.
The key areas that I feel that JDDK have added real positive impact and role have been:
• In the design quality of projects
• The effective relationships with all team members and stakeholders in the development stages of a project
• Leading on productive discussions with planning departments
• High level and supportive relationship with our clients in design and delivery team meetings
• Offering innovation and flexibility to project and concept design through to delivery team meetings
• Offering innovation and flexibility to project and concept design through to delivery on site
• Enabling us to maximise buildability and affordability of projects through robust relationships and effective communications

Ultimately, JDDK have assisted us on some successful and innovative projects that have been achieved through teamwork. The team at JDDK are always keen to help and support whenever it is needed, which has been invaluable when we have had to meet tight deadlines and timescales.
I am happy to recommend JDDK as a business that can work in partnership to enable you to deliver and offer successful projects.”

Graham Scanlon, Business Development Director, Frank Haslam Milan

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Northumberland National Park Authority

“JDDK are managing a £7m new development for the first National Landscape Discovery Centre, called the Sill, in England. It will be based in the heart of the National Park and in full view of the UNESCO listed Hadrian’s Wall World Heritage Site – so high quality design which is sympathetic to the landscape is an absolute must. We are a...

“JDDK are managing a £7m new development for the first National Landscape Discovery Centre, called the Sill, in England.

It will be based in the heart of the National Park and in full view of the UNESCO listed Hadrian’s Wall World Heritage Site – so high quality design which is sympathetic to the landscape is an absolute must.

We are a very demanding client and have asked for:
• Design by community engagement – enabling the community to choose the materials and the type of design;
• A landmark building which will draw people from across the country and across Europe to visit the new centre;
• A stand-out feature – namely a fully accessible grassland roof made from many native plants and grasslands across the 500 square mile national park;
• Achieve a building with BREEAM excellence;
• Gain support from peers (including English Heritage) via the North East Design Review;
• Provide a low operating cost solution for the Youth Hostels Association to enable the provision of affordable and safe accommodation for children and elderly people alike and:
• Work alongside interpretative consultants and art consultants from the very start of the design.

JDDK have achieved all the above and much more. I have personally witnessed their very effective working at many levels, be it at well attended public drop-in sessions, presenting elected members, working late at night, meeting with remote parish councils and melding the work of a multi-faceted project design team.

I can whole heartedly recommend JDDK who have both managed our reputation and created a fantastic design within overall cost parameters and on time.”

Stuart Evans, The Sill, Project Director, Northumberland National Park Authority

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