1999-2009: a decade of change
16 September 2009
An illustrated timeline of CABE's activities over the last ten years.
Travel through time
Download the Ten year review for more information on CABE's work over the last decade, including ten case studies and the full illustrated timeline.
Lord Rogers’ Urban Task Force launches the report from its year-long investigation, Towards an urban renaissance. The scale of the job ahead is signalled by the number of recommendations: 105.
CABE opens for business on 1 September, working from the St James’s offices of the former Royal Fine Art Commission.
Sir Stuart Lipton is CABE’s first chair. ‘We want to inject architecture into the bloodstream of the nation,’ he says.
A retail plan for Princesshay, Exeter, is CABE’s first major design review. ‘A proposal of real architectural excellence has not been achieved’, we say. An improved scheme returns in 2002 – and the completed centre opens in 2007. In 10 years we have reviewed the designs of over 3,000 of the most significant proposals in England.
Jon Rouse is CABE’s first chief executive. An early meeting at 10 Downing Street results in the Prime Minister’s Better Public Building Award.
By design sets out a new government creed for higher standards: ‘good design is important everywhere’.
CABE reviews proposals for Birmingham’s Selfridges store: ‘a high-quality civic landmark which will make an important contribution to regeneration’.
CABE’s enabling service set up to advise clients at the early stages of design, with 10 of the best built environment professionals, or ‘enablers’. By 2009, we can call on the support of 323 enablers – and in 10 years we’ve enabled 652 projects.
Building for Life is launched as a pioneering partnership between CABE and the housebuilding industry. Architect Terry Farrell is its chair, with designer Wayne Hemingway taking over later. We’ve given 69 standards to great housing schemes since.
CABE moves to Waterloo, returning the RFAC’s furniture to the V&A – but keeping a bust of Inigo Jones. New office interior is the first UK commission for newcomer David Adjaye.
CABE’s first research report, The value of urban design, shows how excellent design adds value rather than cost.
Architecture and built environment centres benefit from CABE’s £1 million programme. A network of 21 centres now stretches from Newcastle to Plymouth.
Decrepit shop fronts, broken streetlamps and congested pavements earn Streatham High Road in south London the title of England’s worst road in CABE’s Streets of Shame campaign.
Brindleyplace in Birmingham and BedZED in Sutton are among the first great places in CABE’s case study library. By March 2009 there were 316 places we love online.
Sheep, goats and chickens help launch CABE Space at Coram’s Fields, London. Our new unit aims to promote the best in public space design. CABE Space has since worked in 90 per cent of the most deprived areas in England.
Creating excellent buildings, weighing in at 1kg and 244 pages, is the first comprehensive guide created for public sector clients. In 10 years, we’ve directly advised 376 public bodies.
Linford Christie, Judi Dench and Ian McKellan name their own ‘wasted spaces’ as part of CABE Space’s campaign highlighting urban land in limbo.
John Sorrell is appointed chair of CABE, after Stuart Lipton steps down. Richard Simmons becomes chief executive.
Serious concerns over designs for the Royal London Hospital gives way to warm praise, following several design reviews. In 10 years, we’ve advised on the design of 33 major health buildings.
Ashford is the venue for the first CABE urban design summer school. Since then, 664 professionals have attended the intensive four-day training course.
Planning policy statement 1 comes into force, to a rapturous welcome. No longer is policy just about refusing bad design. Instead, PPS1 says that only good design can be accepted.
CABE moves its HQ to a Seifert-designed tower – the building formerly known as Space House – in London’s Covent Garden.
Another rapturous welcome from CABE, this time for government’s mandatory common minimum standards for procurement. Public building costs must now be considered over the whole lifetime of a project.
CABE brings design and healthcare professionals together for a ‘health week’ of 60 events. ‘CABE has played a key role in supporting a step change’ in public building, health minister Andy Burnham says.
The design of eight out of 10 new private homes is not good enough, CABE’s national housing audit concludes – and one in five should not even have been given planning permission.
A proposal for a former filling station site on London’s Albert Embankment startles our design review panel. ‘This is one of the poorest tower designs it has been our misfortune to see.’ The proposal is later withdrawn.
Following a 2006 audit which found that half of new schools were not good enough, CABE begins reviewing all significant BSF school proposals to help local authorities make the right planning decisions.
The Thames Gateway is described in New things happen as England’s San Francisco bay area. CABE’s identity project positions the Gateway as much more than space for new housing. Work on a pact follows to ensure design standards apply across the area.
Ed Vaizey, shadow arts minister, comments: ‘We need to strengthen CABE’s resources and powers so that more developers are held to account for the quality of their design’.
Most of our carbon emissions come from air travel and office energy use, CABE’s first environmental audit reveals. Cutting business flights lightens our ecological footprint by a third.
Too much carbon and too little money means more holidays at home. CABE begins the management of a £45 million programme to boost cultural regeneration in coastal towns.
Young Muslim Londoners launch Inclusion by design, our publication moving the inclusive design agenda on from box-ticking on wheelchair access.
Building for Life is adopted by the Homes and Communities Agency and local authorities to assess new homes using the Building for Life standard. By 2011 every local authority in England will have accredited BfL assessors.
Schoolchildren from around the country converge at the V&A museum in London for the launch of the Engaging Places education programme. In six years, 230,000 young people have taken part in education programmes funded by CABE.
Exactly a century after Shackleton’s expedition to the South Pole, his footsteps feature in CABE’s national ad campaign for our new Sustainable Cities web resource.
Secondary school designs falling short of a new minimum design standard will never be built out. ‘The threshold adds real teeth to the design process,’ says schools minister Jim Knight. The cost to government of CABE’s advice and support on BSF is just 70p for every £1000 spent on construction.
World class places celebrates what has been achieved since Lord Rogers’ task force, and sets out an ambitious strategy for improving quality of place.