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Duggan Morris wins planning for £35m Deptford housing-led scheme

[FIRST LOOK + PLANS] Duggan Morris has won planning permission for its largest project to date – this £35 million, 200-home scheme in Deptford, south east London

The 20,000m2 project, which also includes 11 commercial units and a large mixed-use café and cycle storage pavilion, will partly sit on the former Neptune Chemical Works site which burned down in 2007.

Backed by developer MacDonald Egan, the scheme will create new cycle and pedestrian routes through the existing railway arches on the western fringe of the plot and open up the development to the surrounding area.

Finished in at least three different types of bricks, the project ranges in height from one to 12 storeys and features both one- and three-bedroom flats as well as larger four bedroom houses.

Construction work is expected to start on a phased delivery strategy next year.

The architect’s view by practice co-founder Joe Morris

The context for this project site is characterised by brick: Victorian terraced houses from a variety of pattern books; the imposing early Victorian railway viaduct with its elegant arches; and the nearby 1970s trading estate.

The locale, is gritty, harsh, almost intimidating, yet the local authority’s ambitions recognise how important this site is within a network of similar larger sites. We have sought to build something which feels as rooted in this context as anything else. Something solid, permanent and tectonic. Brick was an obvious choice and we have exploited a rigorous grid of piers and slabs, with the use of a second material of satin-finished metalwork in gold.

The project is conceived as a series of ‘modulated blocks’ of varying size. With increased height we have been able to create greater space between blocks, resulting in an almost castellated silhouette, drawing reference from the changing roof line of the nearby houses, albeit on a grander scale. To enhance this variation between blocks, we have selected a range of bricks, which although complementary, will allow for contrast through colour and textural differences. Perhaps the most exciting element however, is the inclusion of a pavilion-like structure to house bike storage, repair workshop, coffee point and community noticeboard, right at the heart of the scheme.

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