dRMM’s architectural design for Trafalgar Place has been shortlisted for the 2016 RIBA Stirling Prize, the UK’s most prestigious architecture award. Made up of 235 tenure-blind, high-quality homes of which 25% are affordable dwelling. The project transforms the built environment whilst respecting the history of neighbouring buildings. Trafalgar Place is a flagship housing project for Lendlease and is a part of their wider redevelopment of the Elephant and Castle.
An open green landscape
The transformation of the former Heygate Estate enriches the qualities of the area, creating a thriving, desirable place to live, work and visit. Separate buildings are integrated within an open green landscape characterised by mature trees and diverse new planting. A new public realm within the historic fabric of the neighbourhood is created.
Created in consultation with locals
The scheme was designed and developed in consultation with Southwark Council and local residents. The massing and height of the buildings provides the required density with a variety of scale and form; a mixture of mini-tower, apartment buildings and terraced houses. The forms are simple, prioritising interior space and spaces between buildings. Apartments are mainly dual aspect and designed to maximise natural daylight, ventilation and views.
A layout that reconnects the neighbourhood
The plot layout reconnects the dislocated adjacent neighbourhoods that were previously fractured by the elevated walkways and monolithic blocks of the Heygate Estate. The careful retention of 25 mature London Plane trees serves as a positive memory of the former estate and now frames character landscapes designed by Grant Associates. A new public street has been created through the scheme, along with an internal private landscaped courtyard – a community space for residents to cultivate food and neighbourliness.
Smart and modern methods of construction
Two of the buildings at Trafalgar Place are made from cross-laminated timber (CLT) and demonstrate dRMM’s commitment to environmentally smart modern construction. This is the first completed residential development for Lendlease in the UK using this form of construction, a prototype for the masterplan. Windows and balconies are large and of high quality. The polychromatic brickwork employed throughout the scheme incorporates expressive detail, articulating windows, walls and corners.
Trafalgar Place shows how the quality of life can be determined by the quality of composition and construction. As London tries to cope with and respond to its chronic housing shortage, the scheme demonstrates that positively designing the built environment at a local level is of key importance to city making.
For further information
Please go to the Trafalgar Place project page for more details and a full list of project team credits.