Pembury Circus / Hackney

Once home to two blocks of bedsits and an underground car park, Fraser Brown MacKenna have secured planning consent to redevelop Pembury Circus in Hackney to provide around 270 new homes together with a brand new community centre, shops, a nursery and a gym. We have used existing ‘desire lines’ and informal pedestrian routes across the site as a starting point for determining how to link the site to the surrounding neighbourhood. Formalising these desire lines creates three new principal routes through the site.

A key issue for residents was improving the security of the estate. The previous buildings on the site were unpopular (and often unoccupied) bedsits that had been sub-let by leaseholders; leading to a transient population. The area had become synonymous with drug taking and crime and was a no-go area for many.

Although the developer, Bellway Homes was keen to create secure, ‘gated’ type spaces throughout the site, the design team at FBM felt that by providing public access, with the new Community Centre as a central focus, it would be key to the success of the space in the future; Peabody Housing Association were also in agreement with this concept. By testing a number of design solutions, carefully locating entrances to each new building to provide passive surveillance, we gained the support of all parties involved: the Secured by Design Officer, residents and tenants from PETRA (the Pembury Estate Tenants and Residents Association), Bellway and the local planning authority, as well as Design for London (CABE).

In 2016 Pembury Circus was placed in the following awards: RESI Development of the Year – Finalist Inside Housing: 60 Top Developments of the Year – Finalist, First Time Buyer Awards 2016 – Best Urban Regeneration – Highly Commended, The Planning and Placemaking Awards – Finalist, New London Awards – Finalist, LEAF Awards 2016 – Winner National Housing Awards – Highly Commended. In 2015 Pembury Circus was the Finalist in the National Housing Awards.

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