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Shanly group and university of reading’s collaboration unveiled by Piers Taylor

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The Shanly Group has partnered with the University of Reading to produce an exhibition which showcases the changing face of residential and commercial property over the past 50 years, and how it may change in the years to come.

The Shanly Group and the University of Reading’s joint project, a thematic exhibition entitled ‘People Making Places: 50 Years of Property’, has been unveiled by Piers Taylor, an award-winning architect and academic.

Curated by the School of Architecture at the university on behalf of the Shanly Group, the exhibition tells the story of how the property sector and our homes have transformed over the last 50 years. Using feature models, photographs and development profiles, it explores a range of residential and commercial property projects the company has been involved in over the past five decades.

The exhibition was put together with the help of Esther Pilling, a School of Architecture student, who conducted over 30 interviews with a range of property industry professionals who had worked on Shanly Group projects over the years as well as individuals within Shanly Group.

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Chapel Arches

The structure of the exhibition represents a timeline divided into three distinct periods – ‘The Early Years’, ‘Emerging Communities’ and ‘Looking Forward’, offering visitors an overview of how regulation, technology and consumer demand drive changes within the property sector and have helped to set the development trajectory for the Shanly Group.

The first section of the exhibition, ‘The Early Years’, draws particular attention to the various developments in planning and regulation throughout the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s, and their impact on design. 

The second section, ‘Emerging Communities’, explores the changes that took place within the construction industry in the 1990s and 2000s as well as the 2008 economic recession and its impact on the property market.

The third and final part of the exhibition, ‘Looking Forward’, explores the potential of new technology and innovative materials to reshape the property industry.

Tamra Booth, Operations Director at the Shanly Group, said: “Using the experience of the Shanly team and insights taken from 50 years of creating new homes and communities, this exhibition provides a window into developments of the past and future. It helps visitors get a better understanding of the constraints and opportunities house builders and property investors have faced at different times.”

Lorraine Farrelly, Head of Architecture at the University of Reading, said: “We are pleased to present this exhibition to the public. Using the Shanly Group’s projects as examples, it provides visitors with a clear explanation of how political and economic factors impact the property market, and how the industry and the types of homes and commercial property being built adapt to changing demands and preferences.”

The exhibition will run between 17 and 25 September, excluding weekends, from 10:00 to 17:00 at the following address:

University of Reading

School of Architecture L46

London Road Campus



For parking information for the exhibition please contact