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Archio picked to design ‘modern villas’ next to pioneering housing estate

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Barking and Dagenham Council’s regeneration company Be First has appointed Archio to design 20 homes on a former synagogue site in Dagenham, east London

The practice was chosen from an unnamed shortlist for the shared ownership homes scheme on a plot next to the pioneering Becontree Estate – the world’s largest council estate.

The emerging firm was appointed after submitting two different designs for properties described as ‘villas on a green carpet’.

Be First managing director Pat Hayes said: ‘We felt the designs from Archio complemented the groundbreaking 1920s designs of the Becontree Estate.’

The estate of around 26,000 homes was constructed to house returning soldiers from the First World War. It was built by London County Council between 1921 and 1935, and designed to cottage estate principles.

Barking and Dagenham bought the 0.4ha synagogue site from the United Synagogue Trust last year after the building became redundant in 2014.

Archio director Kyle Buchanan said: ‘In the 1920s the Becontree Estate was one of the most radical programmes of public housing ever attempted.

‘Be First’s development plans for Barking and Dagenham are reigniting that radical spark and we are thrilled to have been chosen to work on this key site. Our scheme draws on the character of the existing estate to deliver a locally distinctive architecture that will provide much-needed housing.’

Be First, a company wholly-owned by the council, is looking to deliver around 50,000 homes over the next 20 years.

Last month, it appointed White Arkitekter and a consortium led by HTA Design to design the next phases of the ongoing redevelopment of the 1960s Gascoigne East estate in Barking.

Archio sketch

Archio sketch


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