Meet the architects behind NWQ


It’s not every day you get to meet the architects behind your new home, but we caught up with Frank at Frank Reynolds Architects (FRA) to hear how they supported the project.

An ongoing partnership

“FRA has worked in partnership with Countryside Properties for over 15 years, specialising in complex, large scale buildings where an understanding of build quality is as important as the town planning response. Our work together includes more than 10 completed projects, over 3,000 homes, with a further six or seven projects either in construction or on the drawing board.”

Opportunities brought to life

“The design work for the NWQ scheme was about much-needed renewal across the Carlton Vale area FRA worked to revise some early ideas into a more appropriate form of development, including new homes around a busy market square, alongside a commercial focus for the wider estate. The tall landmark building on Carlton Vale is a marker for this ‘village centre’.”

Rich and robust design

“Countryside was careful to bring together several different architects tailored to stages within the project resulting in a rich and robust design. The brief included designing homes to make the most of sunlight and views, whilst maintaining privacy and security.”

Community spirit

“One of the unique aspects of the design process is the sense of community that already exists in Carlton Vale. Working in partnership is such a rewarding process, with passionate and caring voices allowing the design to be steered by local experiences and memory. This is a unique community supported from Borough level, resulting in empowered voices and a strong design as a result.”

Brick by brick

“The focus for us as architects was to bring a sense of unity to this ‘village centre’ so that all seven of the buildings (three phases) read as a family. That’s why we used soft brown brick across all of them as the primary building material. It’s identifiably domestic, trusted, and sturdy, as well as high quality and low maintenance.”

An evolving design

“As a development on a brownfield site (land that has been previously built on) the design has to respond not only to the visible world, but also to obstructions and services below ground. The design has evolved several times and was flexible. We worked to balance a sense of community with security, by ensuring the homes meet Secure by Design standards with secure entrances and good passive and active security measures.”

Welcoming new residents

“As with most projects, the best part of all is welcoming new residents to the first phase of NWQ after more than three years of work. People are the life and soul of a building and seeing existing and new residents move into brand new homes has been an absolute delight. I can’t wait to see how the community develops as the rest of the buildings are completed.”