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Architects reveal designs for Grenfell estate resident-led overhaul

View of talbot grove house courtyard with proposed balconies and rear gardens
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Solar panel roofs, new gardens and a community pavilion are among the early ideas for an overhaul of the west London housing estate devastated by the Grenfell fire tragedy.

A design team comprising six leading practices is working alongside residents of Lancaster West Estate – home to more than 1,000 households – and the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea to deliver a range of improvements to the estate.

The project will use £15 million of government funding pledged following the Grenfell fire – a sum the council has committed itself to match – to transform the neglected Lancaster West, into a ’model 21st-century social housing estate’.

London-based practices Levitt Bernstein and Penoyre & Prasad are co-leading the design team, which also comprises Adjaye Associates, Cullinan Studio, Maccreanor Lavington and Murray John Architects.

The ‘sensitive’ makeover aims to help local residents rebuild their lives following the tragic fire at Grenfell Tower that killed 71 people last June and left many people homeless.

To generate ideas for the refurbishment, Lancaster West has been divided into nine blocks, with each producing a ‘Book of Ideas’ to record the ideas generated in workshops with residents in January and March.

One of the proposals is to install solar panels on the roofs of the nine blocks to create ‘power stations’ and set up a Community Energy Company, while at Lower Clarendon Walk, Clarendon Walk and Upper Clarendon Walk, there are proposals for new private front gardens.

Pedestrian routes with private gardens at clarendon walk

Pedestrian routes with private gardens at clarendon walk

Further green spaces are proposed for Treadgold and Verity Close House, with new balconies and lifts included in the design proposals for Upper and Lower Talbot Walk.

Proposals for new balconies and lift units on upper and lower talbot

Proposals for new balconies and lift units on Upper and Lower Talbot Walk

New balconies and rear gardens and a community pavilion are proposed at the courtyard of Morland House and Talbot Grove House as well as enhanced entrances and improved security.

Designs for Camelford Court show a pedestrian street reconfigured as shared communal space and new flat entrances while at Upper and Lower Camelford Walk there are proposals to refurbish the buildings’ corridors.

Designs for improvement of a pedestrian street at camelford court

Design proposals for the improvement of a pedestrian street at Camelford Court

Some of the estate-wide improvements include improving safety through lighting and CCTV, signage, rubbish disposal and an audit and update to the Fire Risk Assessments for all blocks. 

Demolition of homes has been ruled out.

Jacqui Haynes, Chair of Lancaster West Residents’ Association said the project was a ’unique opportunity’ for residents to have a voice in the future of their estate. She said: ‘After the tragedy of last June, this is a fundamental step in residents beginning the process of rebuilding their lives and looking to the future.

’The LWRA is working to ensure that the council lives up to its promises to continue to listen to residents and make this a model estate and secure our rights to improved living conditions.’

Landscape architects Andy Sturgeon Design and built environment consultant Twinn Sustainability are also working with the chosen practices, alongside independent adviser Newman Francis, facilitator Fluid, the Lancaster West Residents Association, the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea and central government.

The next stage of the project will see residents choose designers to take forward the refurbishment ideas.

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