Barking Central has created a vibrant, dense and high quality townscape that has reconnected parts of Barking, with active ground floor street edges and public amenities, set around new public spaces. It has revitalized Barking town centre with a large mixed-use scheme of 7 new buildings including a new Learning Centre, over 500 residential apartments, a 66 bed hotel, a bicycle shed for 250 bikes, 9 retail units, a café, a new town square and an arboretum. The development provides active street edges at ground floor which generate civic vibrancy and passive security. The scheme sets a new standard for future urban regeneration, and the following projects in Barking Town Centre.
The residential accommodation in the scheme contains a variety of 1,2 and 3 bed units, each with its own private amenity space. Each of the building expresses a different character in height and massing with either inset or projecting balconies.
Innovations Regeneration This project demonstrates that the real key to city centre development is in not throwing away old buildings but knitting old and new together to breathe new life into the city. Regeneration is about long term investment and a consideration for what really makes a difference. The ‘Barking Central Vision’ provides local people with better prospects, a greater choice of housing and a healthier living environment.
Construction On Phase I due to the need to simultaneously construct the residential blocks while work continued on the library below, modular construction principles were adopted from the outset to allow for ease of fabrication, installation and maintain programme and cost control. Apartment sizes and layouts were developed to utilise an insitu cast concrete frame with flat slabs and blade columns. Offset concrete frame components were thus minimised and different type of units reduced; resulting in easy duplication of the separate building elements and a seamless floor on floor construction process.
Sustainability The project makes a contribution to reducing climate change in a variety of ways, devised as a car free project it makes the most of its proximity to the excellent transports connections Barking offers, green roofs assist with insulation whilst reducing flood risk in an urban environment, the buildings white colour helps to prevent overheating and some of the flats have solar thermal renewable technologies. Phase 2 will bring the addition of a purpose built bike storage facility.
Living Standards All of the residential units within the Barking Central development have been designed to Lifetime Homes standards. ‘The Lifetime Homes concept increases choice, independence and longevity of tenure, vital to individual and community wellbeing.’
Social and Physical Accessibility Barking Central provides eighteen three bedroom, fully wheelchair compliant units, for social rent. This was a much needed requirement with the borough for low income families and those with special needs.