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Work starts on Jan Kattein’s pop-up community project on Ebury Bridge Estate

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Construction has started on a temporary community-led project by Jan Kattein Architects – the latest phase of the controversial redevelopment of the Ebury Bridge Estate

The 505m² scheme will create shops, a café and workspaces for the ‘neighbourhood in transition’ while the 1930s estate in Pimlico, London, makes way for 750 new homes drawn up by Arup.

Two storeys of workspace units will be arranged in a colourful timber-clad terrace with a single-storey café and community hall, while greenery will drape over the scheme from a planted scaffold structure.

The project will be built on the site of the recently demolished Edgson House and is expected to remain there for at least five years.

Development plans for the estate have proved contentious and protracted. Initial designs from 2013, which residents had voted in favour of, were dropped in 2017. However, many residents had already moved out by then and parts of the estate lay empty.

Gabriel Warshafsky, director of projects at Jan Kattein Architects, said those previously living in Edgson House had been ‘decanted some time ago’. 

He added: ‘[It] had become somewhat notorious among residents of the wider estate for drug dealing and other antisocial behaviour – [and] as a result, some residents had been actively campaigning for its demolition.’

In September, London’s now-deputy mayor for housing, Tom Copley, said the use of permitted development to demolish parts of the estate before a planning application had been submitted for a new scheme was ‘underhand and unscrupulous’.

However, a spokesperson for Westminster council, which is behind the redevelopment, said last year it was ‘extraordinary that a Labour London Assembly member is trying to stop this project, especially given the shortage of affordable housing in the capital’.

A full planning application for the site has still not been submitted, but a request for scoping opinion suggest the redeveloped estate will feature buildings between 10 and 19 storeys tall. 

Project data

Client Westminster City Council
Architect Jan Kattein Architects
Local authority Westminster City Council
Planning consultant Arup
Structural engineer Arup
M&E consultant Arup
Quantity surveyor Gardiner & Theobald
CDM adviser Not applicable
Main contractor HA Marks Construction Limited (HAML)
Funding Westminster City Council
Tender date 31/07/19
Start on site 27 January 2020
Completion 31 July 2020
Contract duration About six months
Gross internal floor area 505m²
Form of contract JCT intermediate with contractor’s design (ICD) 2016

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