We see a clear need for real homes for real people

27 February, 2017

Steve Sanham, managing director of HUB, looks after the day-to-day running of the business. Before joining HUB he worked for some of the most dynamic developers in the country, including Argent and Urban Splash. Ahead of the next Architect Pitch, Steve explains what he’s looks for in an architect.

How does HUB differentiate itself from other housing developers?

When Hub started in 2014 it identified that the majority of investment was going into the prime market but we saw a clear need for homes for real people. Our brand is about price point. HUB is more affordable so we go into areas that don’t have a highly functioning resi market using great design.

Does affordable always mean building towers?

We don’t want to build short, fat rendered blobs around London but if land prices come down there won’t be such a need for height.

What are you looking for in an architect?

We’re looking for people who can offer standard solutions to non-standard questions. An architect should grab your attention in terms of creating an emotional response but the design also has to respond to the financial and planning context.

Do you have a favourite architect?

That’s a difficult one. All our schemes have different architects. We know a lot of architects from Urban Splash and Argent and we go to events and read the architectural press and I spend a lot of time looking at buildings when I’m on holiday which drives my wife mad!

How do we solve the housing crisis?

The Government needs to concentrate on infrastructure improvements – we are looking at sites on Crossrail 2, and the Bakerloo extension. The real problem at the moment is too many apartments priced too highly but the Government doesn’t want to see house prices come down because then the UK will be seen as a zero growth economy.

What do you want to get out of the Architect Pitch?

We spend a lot of time and energy putting together wonderful looking designs and we want to ensure that our interior spaces are just as well considered. We also need help to understand what is a Hub product – we’re at that moment in in the business when we want to look for new ideas.

How is Brexit affecting your business?

The market is still here (in London) because of the good quality of life and a strong enough economy to ensure there is a demand but Brexit will have an impact on construction costs because of the weak pound

Where do you see Hub in 10 years time?

We have no interest in being a massive house builder. I’m interested in understanding all of our products in detail – the moment I lose touch it stops being HUB. I wouldn’t want to have more than seven or eight projects on the go at any one time.