How to develop small sites – an Archiboo/Rare Space conference (video)

Thursday 19th April, 2018 | 8.45am-1pm

100 Union Street,


Archiboo together with Rare Space held a half-day conference how architects can develop their own schemes. Topics covered finding land, buying land, case studies and marketing and selling your development.

The conference coincided with the release of the first 10 sites to come forward under the GLA’s Small Sites, Small Builders programme, part of a capital-wide push by the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan for small housing developments to play a much greater role in helping to deliver the capital’s housing needs.

The conference was opened by Darren Richards, Strategic Planning Manager at the GLA and responsible for the London Plan.


Conference registration 8.45am

Session 1

The Challenge – finding land

Architects are often best placed to spot the potential of awkward, compact sites but how do you go about finding a site and what are the obstacles that need to be overcome ?

Speakers are: Levent Kerimol, GLA, James Armstrong, a specialist land acquisition and sourcing agent and Rachel Bagenal, Naked House

Chair- Amanda Baillieu, Archiboo

Session 2

Being a developer – the risks and rewards

For architects, understanding the development process opens up new opportunities but as well as the rewards, development carries risks and this session looks at some of the market knowledge architect developers need before they start.

Speakers are: Colm Lacey, CEO and Managing Director of Brick by Brick, Duncan Blackmore, Arrant Land and Carl Turner, CTA.

Chair- Gus Zogolovitch, Rare Space

Session 3

Funding the development

Being a first-time developer limits the number of lenders willing to give you finance. This session will look at some of the funding options available including government and GLA loans.

Speakers are Jon Tuck, Homes England, Janine Lewis, InvestSure and Russell Curtis, RCKa

Chair – to be announced

Session 4 

How to sell to your customers – marketing and selling

Generating sales takes more than beautiful renders or photography. You also need to inspire interesting conversations about your projects and embrace social platforms such as Instagram and Twitter.

Speakers are Aly de Souza, Rare Space, Claire Curtice, Claire Curtice Publicists and Kate Brown, branding expert

Chair – to be announced

Session 5

Lessons Learned 

There is nothing like hands-on experience when it comes to learning new skills. In this final session, we hear from three speakers who have set out to speculate and have also squeezed innovation into unpromising spaces.

Speakers are: Martin MacElreavy, Unboxed Homes, David Mikhail, Mikhail Riches and Catherine Burd, Burd Haward

Chair – Vicky Richardson, London School of Architecture.

This is a new development by Solidspace designed by AHMM –



Martin MacElreavy ( top left ) Following a 25 year career in the construction industry working all over the world, Martin now works enabling self-builders to create their own homes in London.

Carl Turner is founding director of Carl Turner Architects and co-founder of Social Enterprises, Pop Brixton and Peckham Levels. @CarlCTA

Janine Lewis is CEO and Founder of InvestSure Holdings. Her focus is the real estate industry and ways to solve the significant funding issues developers face. InvestSure is a platform designed to bring all parties together to fund, syndicate, invest, bid and buy real estate opportunities in a professional environment.

David Mikhail is a Director of Mikhail Riches, the practice he co-founded with Annalie Riches. In 2013 they completed Church Walk, four homes in Hackney, where they were both developer and architect. @MikhailRiches

Duncan Blackmore is a founding director of Arrant Land, a design-focused developer specialising in complex and contested small sites. @Arrant_Land

Levent Kerimol worked on the GLA Regeneration team and set up the Small Sites x Small Builders programme. He has recently joined Community Led Housing London as Director. @LevLondon

Kate Brown is a branding expert with 25 years’ experience. She has worked extensively in the property sector developing brands for Pocket, Urban Splash and Skanska. @katebrown0902

Roger Zogolovitch is a developer and the creative director of Solidspace exploring new typologies of housing. His book Shouldn’t We All Be Developers’ calls for independent and creative developers to have a role in generating the supply of new homes.

Rachel Bagetal is a co-founder of Naked House, a not-for-profit housing developer, pioneering a new model of affordable shell housing for London. She currently works for Hackney Council as a project manager in the regeneration team, leading two large estate regeneration projects.

James Armstrong is founder and managing director of Ideal Land that puts together people and sites in and around central London. @idealland_uk

Catherine Burd founded Burd Haward Architects (BHA) with Buddy Haward in 1998. Their third small development - new housing in Kentish Town - is currently on site and due for completion in late 2018. @burdhaward

Jonathan Tuck joined Homes England (formerly HCA) as a Senior Specialist in July 2014 assuming responsibility for supporting SME’s deliver stalled sites in the South and South West.

Alymer D'Souza is head of sales and digital marketing at Rare Space, a niche estate agency for design lovers.

Russell Curtis is a founding director of RCKa. In 2017 he jointly founded Common Home, a community interest company which aims to deliver affordable homes for outright sale to Londoners. @russellcurtis

Colm Lacey is managing director and CEO of Brick by Brick, a development company set up by Croydon Council and has overall responsibility for the operation and strategic direction of the company and the delivery of all schemes. @bxbdevelopment

Darren Richards is the interim London Plan Manager in the GLA Planning team responsible for managing the preparation and implementation of the Mayor’s London Plan. Prior to joining the GLA, Darren was Head of Planning at two south London boroughs.

Claire Curtice ( no photo ) is founding director of Claire Curtice Publicists. She coordinates press campaigns for architectural schemes in a diverse range of sectors, helping to build brands and company profiles internationally. @clairecurtice