Unsupported browser

For a better experience please update your browser to its latest version.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Revealed: first pictures of Robin Hood Gardens' replacement

Haworth Tompkins and Metropolitan Workshop have released the first images of the housing scheme that will replace Alison and Peter Smithson’s Robin Hood Gardens estate in east London

Officially phase 2 of the estate’s wider £500 million regeneration, the latest proposals will see the Brutalist western block of the 1972 ‘streets in the sky’ demolished to make way for 268 new homes.

The plans, which were submitted last month to the London Borough of Tower Hamlets by project backer Swan Housing Association, feature 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.

Site plan

Site plan

The Blackwall Reach Regeneration Project - phase 2 [buildings C and D]

Last summer 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 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

Robin hood gardens replacement

Neil Deely, partner at Metropolitan Workshop which has also masterplanned the site, 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 replacment - Block C2 ground floor

Robin Hood Gardens replacement - Block C1 Typical Plan

Robin Hood Gardens replacement - Block C1 Typical Plan

Robin Hood Gardens replacement - Block C1 Typical Plan

Readers' comments (3)

  • Do architects ever revisit public housing schemes hung with too many fenced balconies? Five years on and the clutter of grimy plastic chairs, dead pot plants and old bikes deface the oh-so-neatly designed spaces. There is a solution: opaque balconies. Please apply.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Flat plans fail to address how we live now. Would be more interesting to see ground floor plans and public spaces than block phasing plan. AJ You should do better!

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • More super dull biscuit boy stuff. Thanks to PC for the new phrase, BTW. Looking forward to when these, too, can be pointlessly knocked down in 40 years time.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions.

Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.