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Go ahead for East’s 44-unit housing scheme in Newham

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[FIRST LOOK + PLANS] East has won planning permission for this 4,700m² residential development in Newham, east London

Replacing a working men’s club with a brick and precast concrete-clad building, East wins its second major consent in the borough in one year.

The six-storey Barking Road scheme for Major Housing Association replaces a derelict Victorian house and working men’s club with 42 new apartments and two live/work units.

The brick and precast concrete-clad project close to Canning Town Station – opposite Scott Brownrigg’s recently completed Rokeby School – features one, two and three bedroom flats. Maisonettes are included on the fifth and sixth floors. 

Earmarked by Newham Council as part of an ‘arc of opportunity’ in the area, the regeneration site is located within a flood plain. As a result, the design features community spaces and a car park on the ground floor, instead of habitable rooms.

Expected to start on site in March, the project features a ‘gatehouse’ building to the rear, which is scaled to match nearby Victorian terraced housing.

East’s Julian Lewis said: ‘Our designs are about making this a place that we would want to live; with a clear legible setting, good shared amenity and green play space.

‘Our client shares aspirations for making this housing excellent, affordable and sustainable.’

The practice won planning for an 84-room hotel in a former police station, also in Newham, one year ago.  

East Barking Road


Jonny McKenna, associate, Metropolitan Workshop and member of hackney design review panel

The fragmented townscape of Barking Road as it runs north-east from Canning Town poses a significant design challenge. Without an overriding street improvement plan, an isolated development can only begin to repair some of the damage caused by the war, ineffective town planning and a lack of economic activity. This unoccupied site is surrounded by diverse architectural periods, styles and poorly used green space. Yet, East has provided many answers.

This site is surrounded by diverse architectural periods and styles

The proposal presents a stepped facade to Barking Road, in contrast to an interestingly undulating facade overlooking Newhaven Lane. This creates a semi-enclosed courtyard, giving shape to the adjacent green space. The boundary between them will be key to establishing a coherent relationship at a detailed design stage. The three-storey gatehouse to the rear responds sensitively to the scale of the Victorian terraces opposite and connects back with a first-floor terrace, which cleverly masks the scheme’s car park.

In response to the flood plain, at ground level, the practice has proposed a community facility and live/work units, which offer views to the courtyard beyond.

A lack of fenestration in the party wall gable suggests a new prototype, inviting others to follow suit

The building’s form reads especially clearly from the east and a lack of fenestration in the party wall gable suggests a new prototype for the repair of the street, inviting others to follow suit. The scheme’s simple, robust materials underpin the formal articulation of the massing.

Pre-Olympics, Newham was overlooked and denied the intelligent architecture enjoyed by other areas. This project should inspire others to try harder.

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