Pembury Circus / Hackney

Through successful urban design at Pembury Circus in Hackney we have created a vibrant new development to replace a dated, inefficient, under-utilised, unsafe and unloved part of the neighbourhood. The regeneration of Pembury Circus provides five new buildings covering 19,400sqm (208,800sqft) and contains 268 new homes, a 1,000sqm community centre, retail units, offices, a nursery and gym on a prominent corner location.

The project has won the Leading European Architects Forum “Best Mixed Use Development” Award and has been named by Property Week as one of the Developments of the Decade. The scheme featured in The Guardian as a benchmark for future models of social housing delivery.

Pembury Circus repairs the fractured urban grain re-establishing lost pedestrian routes through the estate, making a positive contribution to the townscape. Critical to the success of the scheme was increasing the density of accommodation on the site; unlocking commercial value to invest in sustainable neighbourhood services and social housing.

Developing our strategy for the layout of the new buildings on the site involved navigating a number of competing design objectives and required consultation with the lead developer Bellway, Peabody and the Pembury Estate Tenants & Residents Association (PETRA).


We tested massing options, working with stakeholders to gain support for a taller building on the corner of Pembury Road and Dalston Lane. A new community centre at the foot of the tower  provides a focus for the Pembury Estate and wider neighbourhood. We achieved planning approval by presenting carefully considered, contextually driven design proposals and consulting widely, incorporating feedback from stakeholders including elected members, the residents association, the Hackney Design Review Panel, TfL, the GLA and CABE/Design for London

Our design has unlocked a commercial return on investment by intensifying  the density of the site, replacing 35 hard to let bedsits with 268 high quality new homes. We have used this commercial return to fund new high quality community facilities, delivering more and better homes (50% affordable) as well as financially sustainable services for the wider neighbourhood.

Pembury Circus now provides a setting for a successful mixed community of all ages – offering dedicated homes for older people, a nursery, a large community centre with neighbourhood management offices, shops, a new public open space and play area.

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