Charlie Baker

Charlie is a long-standing collaborator with URBED having been involved with the co-operative for over 15 years. Drawing on his experience in low carbon retrofit Charlie has now set up RED, a co-operative business, with the aim of designing and delivering efficient and attractive low-carbon retrofit to both domestic and commercial clients.

Having originally studied architecture, Charlie spent 20 years in Hulme where he was a founder member and part designer of the Homes and Work for Change Co-operatives which included a new studio theatre. He set up a sustainable design and fabrication co-op employing local people working on projects ranging from furniture to through housing to neighbourhood design. The Republic in Sheffield done during this period won ‘Best Nightclub Building of the Year’ 2 years running and was designed both as exhibition, performance and nightclub. With URBED he helped develop the Sustainable Urban Neighbourhood concept, working on masterplans all over the country as well community controlled intermediate housing market models and wider energy strategies. This involved work on projects varying from the Unity Theatre in Liverpool, through various building re-use strategies to the subsequent successful conversion of part of Stoke’s Spode works into an exhibition space for the British Ceramic Biennial.

Charlie has previous lives in photography, specialist design and fabrication, co-operative development, community led development and urban design. In the current one whilst at URBED he developed 2050 retrofit standards, delivery vehicles and financial models, co-authored the Greater Manchester Domestic Retrofit Strategy, and helped found Carbon Co-op, a mutual organisation for householders interested in retrofitting their own homes. He worked on designs for 10 houses in the TSB’s Retrofit for the Future project of 2011, with some of these proving to be among the best performing in the programme nationally. Most recently he worked on the Carbon Coop’s ‘Go Early’ programme, a project testing deep retrofit with in the owner-occupied sector. He has now set up RED as a one stop design and delivery retrofit co-op.

Charlie Baker