The 1930s estate had reached the end of its life and although Peabody was committed to rebuilding they wanted more for those residents who wished to return – they wanted to create a thriving new neighbourhood with a community hub at its heart. To do that, they had to replace the old estate with a mixed tenure development with private homes that would fund their plans.
It wasn’t difficult to see where many of the old estate’s problems stemmed from. Though in a prime location, between Wandsworth Common and Clapham Junction Station, it was disconnected from its surroundings by an unwelcoming perimeter wall and inward-looking arrangement. Our masterplan set about making better use of the site by creating a real sense of place and community. We doubled the number of homes to almost 600, all of which are larger and enjoy their own balconies or gardens. A new pedestrian avenue cuts across the development, opening it up to the wider community while removing the cut-off feeling for residents. As well as the new community hub and landscaped public square, there’s commercial and retail space, bringing a high-street feel to the neighbourhood.
Buildings were designed by different teams so each has a unique character that responds to its specific context – the façades that abut the conservation areas reference the neighbouring Edwardian buildings, while towards the centre of the development the design is more contemporary. Brick is used throughout, different stocks create a unifying thread, from dark engineering brick to handmade biscuit- and cream-coloured varieties. Brick has also been used to create artworks based on residents’ memories that recall the estate’s history.
The development is being carried out over three phases, the first of these – 153 homes – completed in 2016. The second phase is on site and due to complete in 2022.