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Flanagan Lawrence wins Abbey Wood housing contest

Bexley aerial site2
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Flanagan Lawrence Architects has won the RIBA’s competition to design a high-density residential development in Abbey Wood, south-east London

The practice was chosen ahead of four unnamed rival bids to win the estimated £385,000 contract, which is backed by Peabody and Bexley Council’s arm’s length development company, BexleyCo.

Launched a year ago, the competition set out to select an architect to transform a challenging site on Felixstowe Road next to the busy Harrow Manorway flyover and Abbey Wood station, which will be served by the Elizabeth Line when the new route opens later this year.

The project is a short distance from the Thamesmead estate, which has been earmarked for a £1 billion regeneration programme led by Peabody. The plot was previously a car park and has recently been used as a construction site for the Elizabeth Line project.

Abbey Wood is a major commuter suburb and home to the ruins of Lesnes Abbey and Charles Henry Driver’s landmark Crossness Pumping Station.

The area is set to benefit from rapid connections to Canary Wharf and Heathrow once the Elizabeth Line opens.

In November 2017, Bisset Adams won an RIBA-run contest on behalf of Peabody for a new £5 million library nearby.

The competition announcement said that the design should ‘include architectural landscaping within the vicinity of the development to integrate it with the wider public realm and provide active frontages at the station and flyover levels. The appointed architect will have the expertise and design skills necessary to deliver high-quality accommodation for affordable housing and private sale at an affordable cost, to meet existing and future regulatory requirements.’

And, in the light of the Grenfell Tower tragedy, it stressed the need to comply with fire-safety regulations ‘cognisance of the interim findings of Dame Judith Hackitt’s Independent Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety (with a particular focus on their application to high-rise residential buildings) and awareness of recommendations made by professional bodies in response to the interim Hackitt report’.

The development site is within the Abbey Wood and South Thamesmead Housing Zone, and will be the first project by BexleyCo, set up last year to boost the delivery of new quality housing within the London borough.

Images of Flanagan Lawrence’s winning scheme have yet to be released.

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