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Outwood Lane, Horsforth

June 2018

Work has just started on site for this small residential development in the popular district of Horsforth, Leeds.

On behalf of Yorkshire Housing we prepared design proposals to secure the site via a limited competition. Located in a Conservation Area, the planning process was complex requiring negotiation with the local community, ward members and Leeds City Council.


A detailed approval was granted for 13 town houses and 28 apartments. The 4 bedroom houses will be offered for sale on the open market and will subsidise construction of the apartments that are all affordable rent.


The site is heavily constrained with significant mature trees that have a blanket preservation order. The two apartment blocks replicate large villas that are typical of the local vernacular and are to be built with natural Yorkshire stone and slate. Completion is anticipated in spring 2019.

St Hilda's Crescent, Leeds

May 2018

Following the successful completion of 21 houses at St Hilda’s Crescent in Cross Green, Acanthus WSM were asked to prepare design proposals for a series of smaller infill sites to complete the localised regeneration of this area. The decision was taken to use Modern Methods of Construction (MMC) and once again we worked with Osco Homes to develop seven family homes on behalf of The Together Housing Group.


Utilising a panel system that is manufactured by inmates at HMP Hindley, near Manchester this construction method enables the whole house to be watertight within 3 days. It is particularly well suited to smaller sites where access and site storage is constrained.


From the outset the scheme received a lot of media attention and was even featured on BBC news. We are delighted that it has been shortlisted for several awards including the 2018 Constructing Excellence and that it recently won The Northern Housing Award for the Best Use of Off Site Technology 2018.

Acanthus Conference 2018

April 2018

April for Acanthus WSM means only one thing…..our annual conference. We are part of a larger national network of architects with offices from Edinburgh to Pembroke and a combined staff in excess of 150 people. United by a common desire to promote good practice and produce great architecture it is the largest and oldest network of independent practices in the UK.


Having visited every major city in the UK and several abroad including Amsterdam, Berlin and Dublin the unlikely choice for our 32nd event was Swansea. ‘Energizing Swansea’ was the title which was particularly appropriate as two AWSM staff members took part in a cycle race against the other offices from Cardiff to Swansea. Judging by their appearance when they arrived the ride appeared to be up hill all the way, but at least the scenery was spectacular!


This the 32nd conference for Acanthus Architects and was held in the delightful Grade II listed former library reading room, now part of UWTSD. Key speakers included Ioan Jenkins on the Swansea Tidal Lagoon, a proposal to utilize existing technology in an innovative way to generate energy for thousands of homes whilst creating both leisure and marine agricultural opportunities and the renowned architect, Chris Loyn who specialises in multi million pound private houses set in stunning rural locations.


Arguably the most memorable part of the whole weekend however, was seeing our two architectural assistants, Howard and Ollie at breakfast on Sunday morning after they had given the other delegates a masterclass in how to party in downtown Swansea. Plans and “training” are already underway for next year when the circus moves to Belfast.

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