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bptw partnership creates new neighbourhoods at Camberwell Fields


The south London residential scheme has a broad mix of housing types but a distinct aesthetic

bptw partnership’s scheme provides 279 new homes in the London Borough of Southwark for Notting Hill Housing Trust. The site, to the south-west of the recently rejuvenated Burgess Park, was previously part of the Elmington Estate, which had remained derelict following demolition 10 years ago. The scheme focuses on creating a mixed community; homes within the scheme have been developed using a broad mix of housing types; homes include one-to-three bed apartments, two and three bed duplex units and three and four bed family houses with gardens. 22 one & two bed units will be let at 80% market rent and 41 three-bed units will be let at 65% market rent.

Across the development, variations in roof form, materials and textures have been used to create a varied street scene built around defined character areas. New routes to the south are characterised by low-scale apartment blocks and contemporary family housing to complement the scale of existing neighbouring properties. Three-storey flat and pitched roof houses with informal window patterns within a brick façade give this area its own distinct aesthetic, adding to the character of the street which offers on-street parking for larger units.

Bptw partnership camberwell fields (6)

Bptw partnership camberwell fields (6)

The massing transition between the lower-scale homes to the south and larger-scale street-fronted apartments towards the north of the site are emphasised by six-storey apartment blocks at a newly created junction. Characterised by new linear apartment blocks, existing streets towards the north are enhanced with street planting. This character of the area is also emphasised through material choice, with unique brick detailing being complemented by bold metallic balconies to create a distinct, contemporary feel. The increase in massing towards the north of the site culminates in the creation of a marker building fronting Burgess Park, which acts as a landmark entrance to the development while offering views over London and the park itself.

New public and private amenity spaces are spread across the site, providing a range of landscaped spaces for both residents and the local community. Clearly defined private amenity is created within private landscaped courtyards, pocket parks, rear gardens to houses, and communal roof terraces.

Architect’s view

We worked closely with landscape architect Allen Pyke to develop the urban strategy for the new neighbourhood. We developed a hierarchy of amenity spaces, which help to reinforce the existing and new routes. We have been able to deliver a variety of high-quality new homes around new streets and urban blocks that stitch these derelict sites back into the wider area.

Mark Jefferson, Associate and project lead at bptw partnership

Client’s view

The design responds to the local character of the area, from the large Mansion Block on Edmund Street to the surrounding Victorian terraced streets, in materials and scale. The site layout exploits the proximity to Burgess Park by providing new landscaped connections through the development to the park for the new residents and the wider community. Our residents love their new homes. We are delighted with the scheme and the impact that it will have in this neighbourhood for generations to come.

Kelly Harris, senior planning manager, Notting Hill Housing

Bptw partnership site plan

Bptw partnership site plan

Site plan

Project data

Completion date Spring 2017
Architect bptw partnership
Client Notting Hill Housing Trust
Tenure mix 23% Affordable, 43% Shared Ownership and 34% Private
Landscape architect Allen Pyke Associates
Planning consultant GVA Grimley
Main contractor Ardmore Construction
Local planning authority London Borough of Southwark
Total size 24,800m²


Readers' comments (3)

  • Leaving land derelict for ten years after demolishing local authority housing must seem crazy to anyone desperate for a home that they can afford to live in.
    And surely not affordable for the local authority, if truth be told.

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  • I am sure the architects and consultants for this scheme are people of integrity trying to do their best, but these schemes shouldn’t be rewarded with glossy spreads like this. I accept, nobody turns work away, especially when there are mouths to feed in the practice.

    However, our profession acquiesces to these socially destructive impulses by developers (and the completely unaccountable development arms of HAs) with puff pieces in magazines all the time.

    Here we are again with architecture celebrating the rapacious destruction of local communities through ‘blunt’ gentrification (as opposed to more judicious gentrification that caters for existing inhabitants on mixed-incomes). For instance, the article uses the word “affordable” seemingly without irony, suggesting, “The scheme focuses on creating a mixed community” – perhaps they can elaborate on how.

    An alternative take is, the Elmington estate was decanted a decade ago, and the only reason it remained derelict for so long was the financial crisis and local resistance to the mix. Literally across the park from this development, it took a judicial review to halt an identical scheme; Involving the same client partnership. Why no serious attention to these issues in the article? Without having to confront these trade-offs with honesty, how will we ever change the conversation?

    The profession will huff and puff and simper over the currents legitimising such institutional contexts. Contexts that allow Grenfells to happen. Then it will go back to making even better mouse traps.

    The AJ should take a lead through its editorial policy and at least provide more penetrating balance, alongside the endless hagiography.

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  • By the way you can always tell a community is being cleansed, when the original place name is replaced with some ridiculous arcadian branding like 'Camberwell Fields'. I wonder if that also reflects the original Victorian terraced streetscape, or some earlier pre-lapsian memory.

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