What is a Design Charrette?

It was excellent to see so many people expressing opinions and being taken so seriously” – Lady Verulam

A design charrette is a relatively short focused collaborative planning method which brings the talents, energies and local knowledge of interested parties together, to tackle site specific design aspects of buildings and surrounding open spaces.

Charrettes need to be independently externally facilitated to give confidence to all involved that all voices are heard, not just those who shout the loudest, in reaching a consensus view.

Safeguarding a successful charrette process needs independent external design experts within their own their professions (e.g. architects, urban designers, highway engineers) who also have the added skill of being trained facilitators. Design facilitators have the ability to draw quickly and at the same time listen to the view expressed and discuss options in an impartial and even handed way.

Watch and find out more about a Design Charrette

Mutually Beneficial Aims

The mutually beneficial aims of a design charrette are:

  • To cut down the time it takes to go through the planning process.
  • To ensure we have investment in our city centre to keep our city centre thriving
  • To ensure new buildings and spaces are, in part, designed in collaboration with people who know St Albans best, and who consider the design to be a worthy legacy for future Albanians.

Our design charrettes have three parts. Firstly we hold a design briefing session (scene stetting), followed by a full day workshop and finally there is a results and feedback session – all at times to try to ensure as many members of the community who want to take part can take part.

Remember, everyone has a view which matters. No previous planning knowledge or experience required!

What is a Design Code?

A design code is a set of illustrated design rules and requirements, which instruct and advise on the physical development of a site or area. Although LOOK! St Albans covers the entire City and District of St Albans, our Design Codes are currently for the City Centre only. For full details, please refer to the full WORKSHOP REPORT.