Barnet Council is recruiting a masterplanner for a pioneering regeneration of the 3ha Upper and Lower Fosters Estate in Hendon, north London
The winner of the £400,000 contract will work with local residents to co-design an overhaul of the ageing 1960s housing estate, which currently features a community hall and 211 residential units in a mix of high-rise towers and low-rise apartment blocks.
The initiative, which is being project managed by Hana Loftus of HAT Projects, is intended as a pilot to demonstrate best practice in community-led estate renewal within the borough. An initial viability study conducted by the council indicates between 100 and 150 new infill homes could be delivered on the town centre site.
According to the brief: ‘The London Borough of Barnet is seeking to appoint a suitably qualified consultant to provide lead consultant, architectural and urban design services to develop the masterplan and design up to the submission of a detailed planning application for the Upper and Lower Fosters Estate.
‘It is expected that the appointed consultant has demonstrable experience and skills in working with diverse communities to develop design proposals, as well as excellent architectural and urban design skills.’
Interested parties have until 4pm on 18 April to register for a supplier engagement event relating to the project on 20 April.
The winning team will develop the scheme from RIBA Stage 1 to 3 and then – subject to outline business case, planning consent, and financial appraisal – on from RIBA Stage 4 to 7.
The deadline for applications is noon, 8 May.
How to apply
View the contract notice for more information
London Borough of Barnet
North London Business Park
Oakleigh Road South
Q&A with Hana Loftus of HAT Projects
Source: Image Ivan Jones
Why are you working with Barnet council on this pilot project to demonstrate best practice in estate planning?
Barnet Council and Barnet Homes felt this estate had the quality and scale to pilot a different approach to working with the community. Lying just behind the high street, it offers a clear opportunity to densify and create a streetscape through infill development. The council felt there was an interesting opportunity to fully involve the local community from the very start of the process in creating a high quality new environment to deliver for Barnet residents.
What is your vision for the future of the Upper and Lower Foster Estate?
The vision for the estate is being led by the community steering group. For example, themes around design for the elderly and how this relates to design for young families, are emerging as priorities. We have started with no assumptions and we are interested to see what options emerge through the early stages of the design process.
What sort of architects are you hoping will apply?
We hope to shortlist practices that show a range of approaches, but it is important that they have experience of both housing design and really listening to local people. This community led approach is still quite innovative and is a first in Barnet, so a track record of delivering infill schemes and sensitive community engagement is essential. We would encourage smaller or mid-sized practices who have a housing and community focus to apply.
Which other design opportunities are on the horizon and how will the architects be procured?
The council has an active development programme and uses a variety of approaches to procure architects using frameworks and individual adverts.
Are there any other similar projects involving the co-design of estate renewals you have been impressed by?
We have visited a number of projects but it is unusual to find a scheme that has involved the community from the very earliest stage as we are. We have been impressed with the architectural design of a number of recent projects, however their community process has tended to be more limited than our approach. We are trying to do something different here.