Further plans by Haworth Tompkins and Metropolitan Workshop for a major scheme to regenerate the Robin Hood Gardens estate in east London have been approved
Officially phase 2 of the estate’s wider £500 million regeneration, the latest proposals will see the Brutalist western block of Alison and Peter Smithson’s ‘streets in the sky’ development, built in 1972, demolished to make way for 268 new homes.
The plans, submitted by project backer Swan Housing Association, were granted planning permission by the London Borough of Tower Hamlets. Proposals include four new buildings – two by each practice [blocks C1, C2, C3 and D].
The scheme will retain ‘in its entirety’ the original central park and mound at the heart of the redevelopment of the estate next to the Blackwall Tunnel, now known as the the Blackwall Reach Regeneration Project. It is understood that 50 per cent of the phase 2 homes will be affordable.
The east wing of the Smithsons’ landmark, meanwhile, will not be pulled down until the start of phase 3 [blocks E and F] of the five-stage project, which eventually aims to replace the estate’s 252 homes with 1,575 new units.
In 2015, the Twentieth Century Society failed in its bid to get statutory protection for the concrete estate. Heritage minister Tracey Crouch granted a second certificate of immunity for the blocks meaning the Smithsons’ buildings cannot be considered again for listing until 2020.
In 2008 then architecture minister Margaret Hodge also refused to list the estate, agreeing with English Heritage that it was unfit for people to live in.
Toby Johnson, director at Haworth Tompkins previously said: ’We respect the legacy of the Smithsons and have been all too aware of the intellectual challenge involved in working on Blackwall Reach.
’However, we’ve worked closely with Metropolitan Workshop and Swan Housing to deliver a scheme that will preserve and enhance the open space and the heart of the estate, improve the relationship the new buildings make to the surrounding streets and provide better homes for the existing residents of the estate, as well as additional homes to meet the demand in this fast-changing part of London.
’These proposals will improve the quality of life for those living on and near the estate.’
Robin hood gardens replacement
Neil Deely, partner at Metropolitan Workshop which has also masterplanned the site, previously said: ’We are looking forward to continuing our work with Swan Housing, the GLA, Tower Hamlets Council and the local community in due course, and also furthering our successful collaboration with Haworth Tompkins.
’We’re very pleased that the client group has embraced the recommendations for qualitative improvements to the plans for regeneration of the estate and to delivering the best possible place to live at Blackwall Reach.’
AKT II and Townshends are on the design team as structural engineer and landscape designer respectively.
Robin Hood Gardens replacment - Block C2 ground floor
Robin Hood Gardens replacement - Block C1 Typical Plan