St William brings together land owned by National Grid Property with Berkeley's expertise to design, build and market new developments.
National Grid prepare the land for redevelopment through a careful combination of demolition, remediation and relocation of gas infrastructure, to meet the needs of each site. The team at St William then lead on all aspects of delivery, from planning to construction, sales and community development.
We chose our name to recognise William Murdoch, a pioneering Scottish engineer. At the turn of the eighteenth century, he invented the first practical system of gas lighting. This led to the development of gas works, gas holders and the use of gas that we know today.
We want the places built by St William to be renowned for the quality of their landscape and the open space. The term 'landscape' comes from two words meaning 'to shape a place where people belong'. That idea inspires our approach. The space between buildings is where you create a community and somewhere that is sociable, sustainable and safe.
So on every site, we start with the landscape. This is a practical way to open up and reconnect places that have been closed to the public for decades.
Landscape-led development also responds to the specific contemporary challenge that cities like London face today, becoming more dense, congested and stressed. It offers us a way to create welcoming, sociable, beautiful places at the same time as building the additional housing that people urgently need.
At St William, we always think about people first, the spaces they need and how they will use them. We fit the buildings to the landscape, not the other way round.
This idea of landscape-led development is explained in a new essay we have published called 'First life, then spaces, then buildings.'.