Optimised Environments (OPEN) Ltd

OPEN is a multi-disciplinary design practice with landscape architecture, urban design, architecture and environmental planning at its core. Our team has a vast depth of experience in the design and planning of the built environment, having worked on all scales of projects throughout the United Kingdom and around the world.

We shape whole environments, tackling design challenges from a strategic scale through to detailed resolution, to deliver places, spaces and buildings of lasting quality.

Our motivation

At OPEN we are interested in opportunities that are challenging and significant, regardless of scale. We want to make a difference.

We embrace complex projects, working to provide clarity for our clients; masterplanning for major change, integrating new infrastructure, working in sensitive environments, and reinvigorating forgotten places.

We believe in the value that good design can bring to places and the people that experience them.

Our approach

Our work is always contextual; responding to the physical, economic and social conditions that influence the development and survival of our built and natural environment. This thorough understanding allows innovative approaches to be employed, creating responsive solutions for the benefit of each and every project.

We are committed to a creative, multidisciplinary design approach that draws on the breadth of our experience to deliver places of quality and unlock sustainable value for our clients. We enjoy collaboration and are often asked to play a co-ordinating role in the work of a range of designers and technical specialists.

Our work

Our projects take us across the UK and occasionally beyond, covering the widest range of scales, from tight urban situations to those dealing with regional landscape issues. We typically work on the following for a range of private and public-sector clients:

  • Context and site appraisals
  • GIS mapping and analysis
  • Site promotion & visioning
  • Landscape appraisals and LVIA
  • Development frameworks & capacity testing
  • Regeneration strategies
  • Public realm strategies & design
  • Town centre & mixed-use masterplans
  • Residential masterplanning
  • New settlement planning & design
  • Design statements
  • Detailed testing layouts
  • Architectural feasibility, concept & detail design
  • Landscape design and implementation

Our skills

Our core disciplines of Urban Design, Landscape Architecture and Architecture are supported by a range of complementary services:

  • Landscape Planning
  • Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment
  • Public Consultation
  • Expert Witness
  • GIS
  • 3D Visualisation; and Graphic Design

These skills enable us to deliver against a range of complex projects and provide high quality, specialist outputs.

Our studios

OPEN now works out of three studios in Edinburgh, London and Manchester. Within each location we have the resources and range of skills necessary to tackle projects of all scales and complexity, wherever our clients need us to.

We also work hard to maintain a team approach across these studios. We share ideas and experience as well as resource; drawing upon specialist input or advice as necessary.

Dundee Waterfront and V&A
Crab Hill Urban Extension Oxfordshire
Stoneywood PRS Neighbourhood, Aberdeen
Primary Office
Quartermile Two
Level 2
2 Lister Square
0131 221 5920
Key Contact
Pol MacDonald
Regional Offices: 
North West
Recognised Practitioners: 
Jamie Ferguson
Mark Foster
3D Visualisations
Branding & Identity Design
Environmental Planning
Graphic & Web Design
Landscape Architecture
Public Consultation
Streetscape Design
Urban Design
Residential Schemes
Retail and Town Centres
Commercial Office & Employment Space
Public Realm Design & Transport Planning
Mixed Use Brownfield Regeneration
Greenfield Development
Green Infrastructure & Open Spaces
Coastal Areas
Tourism & Leisure