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Cressingham Gardens

Lambeth London, SW2

Date

2016-2018

Client

Lambeth Council

Sector

Public

Architecture

Community

Located in Brockwell Park in London, the Cressingham Gardens People’s Plan was a response to Lambeth Council’s 2015 proposals to demolish the estate as part of a borough-wide regeneration programme. Their proposals argued that the demolition and rebuilding of 464 new units would enable 21 additional council rent homes on the estate.

Following an opaque consultation process by the council which left the residents feeling insecure about their homes, the community approached us to help them understand what alternatives to top-down, demolition-led regeneration might exist.

Given the number of experts that had proffered “solutions” in the previous 3 years, we felt our role was to counter “engagement fatigue” and give the community ownership of the process in order to build the capacity to present, explore and potentially deliver any proposed alternatives themselves.

To that end, we developed a community-led engagement plan that enabled peer presentation and discussion, the findings of which were collated through a questionnaire with over an 80% response across the estate.

This form of deep engagement allowed the community to connect with each other and find real consensus over a positive vision for their future.

Parking space area = 5,470 m2= 13 FIVE-A-SIDE FOOTBALL PITCHES

EXISTING PARKING SPACES

» 50%

TOTAL % OF CAR PARKS USED

ADDITIONAL HOMES

Following a detailed analysis of the estate, the proposals

  • Cross-checked the Council’s reasons for demolition, setting out proposals to correct or mitigate the issues raised.
  • Analysed the underused spaces on the estate proposing 23 new garage infills and a 14-unit new build apartment block on the site of some disused building on the estate
  • Proposed a deep Enerphit retrofit of the estate that improved the environmental performance of the buildings and resolved some of the long-term maintenance issues, such as damp and mould caused by poor carried out repair programmes by the council
  • Offered alternatives for community-led income generation through a community solar farm and hydroponic microgreen farm that repurposed the uninhabitable spaces left over by the garage infill proposals.
  • Set out a process whereby the community could eventually take ownership of the estate.

The scheme’s viability was tested in detail and was shown to be deliverable for a fraction of the cost of the demolition-led regeneration using the £1.2M annual rental & service charge receipts to fund the project.

This resulted in a more economically, socially & environmentally sustainable solution for Cressingham gardens which acknowledges the existing community’s right to safe, warm high-quality housing.

Whilst the proposal remains unbuilt, it has empowered the community to question the Council’s approach to regeneration which ignores the value of those that already live there.

PHOTOVOLTAIC PANELS (SOLAR ENERGY)

206 roofs that can fit up to 2,472 solar panels. When your system is providing more energy than your house needs, the balance is supplied to the National Grid

BENEFITS

  1. SAVINGS ON YOUR ELECTRICITY BILLS
  2. INCOME FOR THE ESTATE

MVHR ( MECHANICAL VENTILATION WITH HEAT RECOVERY )

BENEFITS

  1. REMOVAL OF CONDENSATION
  2. FRESH FILTERED AIR SUPPLIED TO HOMES,
  3. RE-USES UP TO 95%OF THE HEAT THAT WOULD OTHERWISE BE LOSTBENEFITS

The positive vision for the estate has formed an integral part of their legal challenges against the council at Judicial review. Most importantly, however, the community have begun the process of taking ownership of the estate. They do so with a clear vision for its future in the Cressingham Gardens People’s Plan.

This project remains our proudest piece of work because it really engages with Architecture’s ability to question convention & affect change for people and their environment.

COMMUNITY

If you have a project in mind we’d be very happy to help you bring it to life.

E: info@variantoffice.com

T: 0203 985 1381

241-251 Ferndale Rd

London SW9 8BJ