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Stitch submits plans for Walthamstow estate overhaul


The competition-winning scheme by Stitch to redevelop the Marlowe Road Estate, in Walthamstow, east London has been submitted for planning

The practice was part of the victorious Countryside Properties team named by Waltham Forest Council as the preferred development partner on the 436-home project late last year (see AJ 10.12.14).

The ‘deprived’ 1960s estate currently has 298 low-rise council homes plus a further 100 flats in the 20-storey Northwood Tower.

As part of the £130million scheme 150 council homes will be demolished and re-built - the tower will be retained - together with an additional 280 new homes ranging from four bedroom family houses with private gardens, to maisonettes and apartments with roof terraces and courtyard gardens.

It is understood Waltham Forest Council will buy 40 of these homes allowing residents to purchase them through shared ownership.

The proposals also include a re-designed central plaza north of Wood Street station more than 1,000m² of new commercial space, including a Co-operative store, local Post Office and new community uses.

Richard Cherry, chief executive of Countryside’s Partnerships division, said: ‘The focus of the new scheme will be on bringing back traditional tree-lined streets that link well with the surrounding area, with attractive frontages, providing well-defined spaces for the local community to enjoy.’

A planning decision is expected in the early autumn, and if approved, building works could start before the end of 2015, taking around six years to complete.

Stitch's proposed Marlowe Road Estate scheme in E17 - aerial view



Readers' comments (2)

  • Ben Derbyshire

    Great to see a suitable setting for our cheery polychromatic recladding of Northwood Tower - at last. We completed this project in the nineties and were unable to persuade Waltham Forest to remodel the estate that surrounded it back then.

    But it was a tour de force of 'Community Architecture' - consulting with the tower residents to agree a vertical rolling programme in which they all moved down the building as the contractor moved up, occupying three floors at a time to re-clad the exterior and reinforce the precast panels (to guard against progressive collapse) to a design of their choosing.

    The design was featured in the Architecture Club's 50th anniversary exhibition when I took great pleasure in pointing out to Sean Griffiths of FAT that he was not the first to popularise polychromy as a way to win over the hearts and minds of the laity!

    The building has weathered well and I wonder why we don't use brick as a cladding material more for tall buildings. After this one, we went on to do Winterton House where, with Whitby Bird, we designed a 25 storey solid brick wall to surround the existing steel frame - still (I'm told) the tallest unreinforced brick structure in the world!

    Ben Derbyshire
    Managing partner, HTA Design LLP
    Chair, The Housing Forum.

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  • Roland Karthaus

    As the co-chair of ArchitectsE17, a local voluntary group who are working to raise the aspirations for good design in Waltham Forest, we approached Countryside and Stitch early on to discuss holding a design review as a pilot and demonstration for the Borough. Both the architects and developer were keen on the idea, but it wasn't supported by the Council. This is a desparate shame - the scheme is not bad - but it is a controversial redevelopment that is fundamentally affecting a whole community and will undoubtedly change the nature of a very unique part of town (Wood Street), with a dense network of independent businesses and a Georgian indoor market. Any such complex scheme would undoubtedly be better after a process of design review, but alas another opportunity has been missed by Waltham Forest.

    Roland Karthaus
    Co-chair, ArchitectsE17

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