Denton Corker Marshall

Architecture

We pursue simplicity and clarity in design that will meet the objectives and aspirations of clients. We design and deliver buildings whose functionality, contextual response, environmental performance, and aesthetic qualities come together in striking, well-focused architecture. We do not force functions into preconceived forms. We design buildings whose architecture is innovative, but absolutely appropriate for particular purposes, places, and lives.

We believe the best and most memorable architecture distills a really strong central design idea that brings together form and function with the greatest possible clarity. It’s a process that brings together practical objectives with the possibilities of form, mass, space, light and shadow to create intelligent, architecturally memorable outcomes.

Our pursuit of architectural directness does not mean that our architecture has a ‘house style’. We strive for decisive designs, but they respond individually to challenges and opportunities relating to specific contexts, client aspirations, planning or heritage factors, and significant community issues. Environmental performance is another hugely important factor, and our approach is to design this in from the outset, rather than add environmental bolt-ons at the end of the process.

This means that the buildings we design may be architecturally recessive or extrovert, calm or colourful, solid or transparent, stark or articulated — it depends on how best new buildings can add to the spirit, energy and diversity of places. Sometimes, the design concept is extremely bold: when it’s appropriate, we don’t shy away from designing a building as a uniquely singular object. But in every case, the core ideas of form, materiality and spatial character will be very clear. And every design detail reinforces the central concept.

Interior Design

The key to creating great interiors is a really strong and coherent core design concept which will add aesthetic, spatial and commercial value to buildings. Our interior design team, working on DCM projects, or independently for other clients, delivers schemes whose design is always based on a highly distinctive design language. It’s a process of exploration and communication, which draws from the architecture of the buildings involved, the wider context, and from significant cultural, commercial, or historical factors.

The detailed design, and the selection of materials, furniture, fittings and lighting flows from this strong starting point. Our interior designers work closely with clients and architects in an integrated process, from first concepts to detailed onsite supervision of interior installations.

Our interior design projects cover many sectors: offices and retail; cuisine and restaurant-related projects; the hospitality sector, including interiors for luxury hotels, high-end bars and restaurants; and we have also designed interiors for luxury residential projects.

A key strength of our interior design team is its well-established relationships with outstanding specialists, including joiners, set decorators, lighting designers, and artwork agencies. We know how to get the best out of their skill-sets.

Designing great interiors is one thing. Bringing them to reality to maximum effect requires accurate, post-design follow-through. Our team always translates its interior schemes into highly detailed work packages, sample boards, and the full range of specification documentation for complete fit-outs, tenders, and construction.

Masterplanning & Urban Design

The world’s towns and cities are growing and regenerating rapidly, in new ways to meet new human, cultural and commercial evolutions. In purely physical terms, Masterplanning and Urban Design can be described as an carefully balanced mixture of decisive interventions and the fine-tuning of public space, urban grain, infrastructure, and patterns of use and movement. But the really fundamental challenge of Masterplanning and Urban Design is to make sense of change in relation to what exists — and do so in a way that creates a re‑energised sense of place, purpose, and people’s lives.

A successful Masterplan begins with a thoroughly detailed examination of all relevant functional information relating to physical contexts, constraints, historical factors, connectivity, development and infrastructure potentials, and the lives of people who live or work in the Masterplan area.

This generates concepts for change in a ‘living document’ that must be highly practical, and robust enough to leave room for imaginative development as the Masterplan proceeds into more detailed consultation stages. This robustness is crucial: Masterplans intensely scrutinised by public and private participants, and other important stakeholders. The fundamentals of the Masterplan proposals must be right, so they can absorb useful criticisms or additional ideas and changes securely, giving confidence to the lead Client, and key authorities and stakeholders.

We develop robust Masterplans and Urban Designs in a process-driven way that is clear to the Client, and other stakeholders, from the outset. It’s a progressive development which, typically, passes through eight steps:

1. Determining constraints and opportunities, 2. Consultation with stakeholders, 3. Synthesis, 4. Proposals, 5. Draft masterplan, 6. Development, 7. Final masterplan, 8. Implementation stages.

A truly inspired Masterplan is one that has all parties involved eagerly awaiting the next step forward. And this is always our goal, whether designing templates for major housing developments, significant urban interventions, or the creation of mixed-use developments.