Work has started this week on EDAW’s masterplan to transform Croydon’s new town and, in the words of council leader Valerie Shawcross, ‘abolish all those tacky, dirty corners’. The masterplan, which will cost 150-200,000, will be largely if not entirely funded by local businesses. It will look at opportunities for further development in one of the areas of London which has been earmarked as suitable for tall buildings, and at improvement of the 1960s building stock and the way it engages with the street. It will examine the introduction of mixed use, including the possible conversion of some of the towers to residential use, and tackle issues such as improving links with the rest of the town and the development of new foci.
With the £200 million Tramlink now under construction, and the sixth largest amount of office space in the country, it is ‘time to stop apologising for Croydon’, said Kevin Murray, the director of EDAW who is leading the project. EDAW was invited to submit proposals, and at competitive interview beat Arup Associates, BDP, Llewelyn Davies, Terry Farrell & Partners and Tibbalds Monro. It will launch its masterplan, entitled ‘Croydon - The Vision’, in October.
This is in contrast to the ‘Croydon - The Future’ initiative by the previous, Conservative, administration, run in association with The Architecture Foundation. This asked individual practices to tackle specific projects. Proposals by Branson Coates and by Birds Porchmouth Russum for a concert venue or sports centre on top of car parks have gone into abeyance because of the proposed Croydon Arena by Michael Aukett and planned improvements to Fairfield Halls. Suggestions for lighting have become the Croydon Skyline project but this was awarded to Jonathan Speirs Lighting, not to one of the original teams.
EDAW has launched a strategy for Edinburgh’s New Town which aims for a population rise of 28 per cent, a 10 per cent rise in retail activity and a 5 per cent traffic reduction.