Delivering successful urban projects

With 30+ years of experience, Stanhope is one of the most influent developers and investors in London. David Camp, CEO, talks about his upcoming projects designed by internationally acclaimed architects to meet people and buyers' needs and dreams

David Camp, CEO of Stanhope
David Camp, CEO of Stanhope

Stanhope has been working with internationally acclaimed and award-winning architects, Renzo Piano and Fletcher Priest for the Central Saint Giles project, David Chipperfield and Gensler for the Selfridges department store refurbishment and reorganisation, Fosters+Partners for the Bloomberg’s new London headquarters. David Camp, CEO of Stanhope, explains about his approach to deliver such successful projects from residential to culture, choosing always the best partners, because “getting the chemistry right is important”, he says. Research and teamwork are at the core of our approach. “We undertake research into all aspects of development. This encompasses identifying growth locations, understanding trends in terms of occupier requirements and how to deliver our projects in the most efficient way.”

Central Saint Giles, architects Renzo Piano Building Workshop and Fletcher Priest

Central Saint Giles, architects Renzo Piano Building Workshop and Fletcher Priest

Could you describe your approach to deliver successful projects?
Our experience is that working with the best architects results in great buildings and public realm – projects which will be appropriate into the long term. The results create value for those who work/live in, or just visit, the developments. Furthermore, the leading architects tend to be at the forefront of forward thinking in terms of the impact of technology and sustainability on the built environment and the needs of occupiers. We believe that every project is different and that we must start with a blank canvas and build the picture by analysing the needs and opportunities of the location, including the existing local community, and overlay on this the experience and knowledge we have acquired over the last 30 years.

How is working with the best international architects? 
Working with the best UK and international architects brings ideas and approaches to the challenges of a given project that we could not hope to answer on our own. We firmly believe in teamwork, and asking challenging questions of the team delivers unexpected and valuable solutions. We have to strive as a team to always do better than ‘business as usual’ if we are to meet the expectations of our investors, government, occupiers and the individuals who make use of our buildings.

White City Place, architects Allies & Morrison

White City Place, architects Allies & Morrison

How do you choose your suppliers and partners?
We like to get to know the businesses and the individuals within those businesses before we engage our consultants. A typical project for us from inception to completion is 5 years or more, so getting the chemistry right is important, and understanding the interests and strengths of a particular architect will deliver the best outcomes. Sometimes we will run competitions to select architects with only a small number of practices – mostly we simply select who we think would be the best team for a given project.

You make research into the sites to invest in and into the design, but also into building occupancy and managing. 
We undertake research into all aspects of development. This encompasses identifying growth locations, understanding trends in terms of occupier requirements and how to deliver our projects in the most efficient way. Research is part of the way we work. Much of the thinking is undertaken in collaboration with our professional teams and contractors, not just the architect but also with our engineers and cost consultants, together with our supply chain. Our contractors provide valuable insights into the best way to deliver projects on time and to budget whilst meeting stringent sustainability targets. Our projects are also informed by the post occupancy analysis of our completed schemes to inform what we have got right and what can be improved.

Chiswick Park, architects Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners

Chiswick Park, architects Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners

Our two most important current projects are in partnership with Mitsui Fudosan and AIMCo and sit adjacent to each other within the White City Opportunity Area. Across the two sites, we are providing a rich mix of uses with 5 million square feet of accommodation. Our projects which are designed by AHMM and Allies and Morrison sit adjacent to the development of a new campus for Imperial College and Westfield which is the largest shopping centre in Europe. White City is a significant and growing district of London connected to Central London within 15 minutes. Our projects include the reimagining of the headquarters of BBC Television, Soho House, an hotel, restaurants, food and beverage, leisure facilities, a gym and boutique cinema. Other important projects currently under construction include 6 Bishopsgate, being developed for Mitsubishi Estates and designed by Wilkinson Eyre, is on 50 floors dedicated to work spaces, 1 Bishopsgate Plaza is designed by PLP and over 41 floors will provide 160 residencies and a 5 star hotel.

And what about the upcoming developments?
In terms of future projects two of the most important are the development of a second phase of the British Library adjacent to Kings Cross Station in partnership with the Library and Mitsui Fudosan and is designed by Rogers Stirk Harbour. Given the project’s proximity to the Crick Institute as well as the Library and the Alan Turing institute, we believe that this will appeal to businesses involved in Life Sciences which is a major growth industry in London. Our project at Royal Street will provide a major new district adjacent to St Thomas’ Hospital and will be of particular appeal to MedTech occupiers wishing to connect with the hospital and its research. The project is in partnership with the Hospital Trust and Baupost.

One Bishopsgate Plaza, architects PLP Architecture, Yabu Pushelberg and MSMR

One Bishopsgate Plaza, architects PLP Architecture, Yabu Pushelberg and MSMR

The Television Centre, former BBC TV headquarters, architects AHMM

The Television Centre, former BBC TV headquarters, architects AHMM

Which areas of London are having the greatest development now? 
The major growth in London is being seen in key areas which are on the periphery of central London which are well connected and can provide major new districts. This has been seen very successfully at Kings Cross and Stratford and is now happening at White City and Elephant and Castle. The City of London is also seeing a renaissance with a densification through the provision of taller buildings such as the Bishopsgate buildings mentioned above and an expansion of the City into previously fringe locations.