Weston Williamson completes the North Peckham Estate housing scheme
A previous regeneration of a North Peckham property left two sites vacant, divided by a busy road. Temporary buildings were removed from the sites except for two brick water towers that became local landmarks.
The challenge was to provide new homes while creating a sense of place and improving the public realm.
Two buildings rise from the gateway to nine stories, framing a new public space. The perimeter blocks on either side wrap around the newly landscaped courtyard gardens, creating a play space, as well as incorporating the retained and repaired water towers, to celebrate their function as familiar landmarks.
The development contains 109 new homes: 35 for shared ownership and 74 for social rent. The mix of units is intended to respond to local needs with a range of one- to four-bed homes, including eight wheelchair-adapted units.
The main façade overlooking the park has vertical brick piers and horizontal precast concrete elements, and includes a series of deep private balconies for the upper floor apartments and an outdoor space for the ground floor units. This “architectural screen” also acts as an acoustic barrier for the road.
Elsewhere, a combination of pale brick, powder-coated steel railings and granite floors is intended to unify the development with the existing property.
Architect’s point of view
Our main design step was to change the alignment of the road that divides the two sites, placing the new road on the opposite park axis. This unlocked the full potential of the site and repaired the broken edge of the existing property. The new homes are arranged across four blocks, with two high-rise buildings arranged on either side of a new public open space to form a gateway to the estate. The routes from the estate to the park are now clearer and safer, and new play and activity areas within the new development have been linked to the communal gardens, bringing benefits to new and existing residents across the wider estate.
The main façade overlooking the park is treated as an architectural ‘screen’ of vertical brick piers and horizontal precast concrete elements, incorporating a series of deep private balconies for the upper floor apartments and outdoor space for the ground floor units. The screen also acts as an acoustic barrier to the road and creates a play of light and shadow across the facades throughout the day. Elsewhere throughout the development, wide-access decks and walkways provide ample common space. A strong material palette, including pale brick, powder-coated steel railings and granite flooring, gives the development a clean look that blends well with the existing properties.
Commercial Way is the latest in a series of new residential developments under Southwark Council’s ambitious development programme, which is building thousands of new council homes across the borough. We work with the Council on a series of developments, and at Commercial Way, we have enjoyed using our skills to design fantastic new homes for social rent and shared ownership and applying our wider placemaking experience to deliver significant improvements to the immediate public realm and public realm. The wider North Peckham area.
Beatrix Young, Director, Weston Williamson + Partners
Start on site May 2021
an end June 2023
Total interior floor area 9,392m2
Construction cost 24 million pounds sterling
structural engineer Weston Williamson + Partners
client Southwark Council
Structural Engineer Price and Myers
Monitoring and evaluation consultant Vector design
Lead designer Weston Williamson + Partners
Main contractor Durkan
Landscape architect External architects