FBM Architects was appointed by the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham to lead a multi-disciplinary team to bring forward the redevelopment of the Gascoigne West Estate as part of the Borough’s strategy to provide new homes and vibrant town centres. The site comprises three plots of land totalling 2.4ha around the north and western fringes of the Gascoigne Estate. The estate is typical of the 1960s designs of the time, with low density and low rise apartments and maisonettes and one twelve storey tower block in the centre of the site set within areas of largely undefined open space.
Our design proposals have sought to intensify the density of this part of the estate, providing a mixed tenure of accommodation and up to 850 new homes. The project will have a significant transformational impact on Barking Town Centre and we have worked closely with adjoining masterplanning teams to ensure our designs complement the adjoining regeneration areas of Abbey Road and Gascoigne East; providing the optimum mix of housing and community services. We have sought to link new and existing developments by re-establishing connections with the street pattern, including a series of strategic links through the site and improving connectivity to the River Roding.
The new development is characterised by substantial urban blocks. Mansion blocks facing ‘The Green’ are a familiar and recognisable form, similar to historic developments bordering London’s well-known parks. Located perpendicular to the street, the new buildings are punctuated by green courtyards. At the ends of each street, building heights rise to ‘bookend’ the development and act as markers within the townscape – and avoid a ‘canyon effect’ along Abbey Road. Higher densities are located closest to Barking Town Centre. Active frontages are provided with clearly defined public and private spaces – and new pedestrian routes connecting the site to the River and the adjoining estates.
The three-phase regeneration will be complemented with temporary and demountable community structures providing drop-in information space, a pop-up theatre and gallery, which will provide continuity and a focus for the community whilst the townscape is in transition.