Central Hill Estate – Lambeth

FBM in collaboration with Alma-nac Collaborative Architecture were invited by Homes for Lambeth to participate in a competition to look at the regeneration of the Central Hill Estate in Lambeth

The Central Hill Estate is located in the London Borough of Lambeth. Situated at the top of Gipsy Hill, the Estate occupies an enviable location with uninterrupted views to Central London and surrounded by a dense planting. To the south, the Estate sets back from the busy Central Hill Road, and is further protected from noise and air pollution by a row of mature trees.  Designed in 1966 by Rosemary Stjernstedt for the LB Lambeth Architects Department. Central Hill is a comparatively early exploration of the hill housing concept in the English context, on a site where the topography presented the genuine technical and planning challenges of building on a gradient, and on a large scale.

The proposals sought to retain and refurbish a significant proportion of the original estate. By integrating old and new, the proposals recognised the architectural and social history of the site, while addressing concerns in regards to continuity of local community, retention of heritage assists and the reduction of carbon emissions by pursuing a retrofit first approach.

In areas where retention was not feasible, the proposals would have introduced a series of architecturally diverse interventions, through a series of building typologies that define five distinct character areas. The interventions considered the complex topography and suggested a simple access strategy as an initial solution for tackling the changes in level.

In terms of massing, the proposal responds to contextual situations across the site. The new blocks to the west of the site would have responded to the scale of the retained ‘Ways’ terraces. Along Central Hill the density would have increased and the character is replaced with a mansion block typology which steps down to the south to address the road and the buildings opposite, in particular those within the Conservation Area. Similarly, the buildings proposed for the east and north of the site have been designed to address the different contextual qualities of their direct environment.

A pedestrian an amenity priority street park would have run east to west across the site serving as an ecological corridor for the Estate and beyond. A series of communal amenity spaces would have permeated the site. This will range from large public ones, to more intimate semiprivate which will be designed with residents in mind

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