Greenwich Peninsula Housing London, Residential Architecture, Image, Location, City, Design

Greenwich Peninsula Housing

London Residential Development: Building, England – design by Jestico + Whiles Architects

5 Apr 2012

Greenwich Millennium Village

Greenwich Millennium Village achieves major planning approval

Greenwich Millennium Village Limited, a joint venture development by Countryside Properties and Taylor Wimpey, in association with the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA), has been granted planning permission for its application relating to phases three, four and five of the Village. The outline application covers 1,746 mixed-tenure new homes, of which 459 homes are the subject of a detailed permission.

Greenwich Millennium Village Greenwich Millennium Village Housing
pictures from architects

The design of the new phases, undertaken by a team led by Jestico + Whiles, including architects Peter Barber Architects and Studio 54 Architecture, has already been endorsed by both the Design Council CABE and the Greater London Authority (GLA). As part of the planning discussions, the design was also commended by the Port of London Authority (PLA).

The PLA commented: “The Thames is a busy working river and this design offers an innovative solution that should allow stylish residential accommodation to co-exist next to essential riverside cargo operations with the impact minimised as far as possible.”

Other consultants contributing to the project include Grontmij, working on landscape, XCO2, advising on low energy solutions and acoustic consultants Sandy Brown Associates.

The original masterplan and some of the buildings in earlier phases were designed by the late Ralph Erskine during the 1990s and the new design seeks to update his vision. The scheme includes commercial and community buildings, new public realm and all associated landscaping, the objective of which is to create an exemplar of urban design that is an effective response to the immediate context and completes the community, whilst acknowledging the Erskine masterplan design legacy.

The new design offers a ‘human-scale’ scheme that uses a mixture of townhouses and apartments in lower rise buildings of between three and five storeys, to focus strongly on street life. It uses traditional street patterns with narrower mews, in a way that is compatible with the ‘courtyard’ design language of the initial phases, yet establishes its own identity. The initial phases of the Village featured semi-private landscaped courtyards, and the refreshing approach by the Jestico + Whiles team offers an alternative that is in line with the founding principles of the original design. The high quality of the design ensures that it can accommodate future changes to residents’ styles of living.

Heinz Richardson, Director of Jestico + Whiles, said: “The creation of sustainable neighbourhoods is at the heart of our approach to the masterplan: creating places in which people want to live through different stages of their lives.

Our aim is to encourage the development of a real community through our design. Urban squares within the network of streets will offer places for children to play and for social events to take place, while pedestrians and cyclists will be given priority in the heart of the Village.”

Sustainability is a key attribute of the new designs, with the aim of reinforcing the Village’s credentials as a leader in high-density sustainable living. It is envisaged that the future phases will incorporate an array of passive and active energy management measures, which may include Combined Heat & Power (gas-fired and biomass / biofuel), greywater recycling and rainwater harvesting.

Millennium Village Greenwich

23 Jan 2012

Greenwich Housing

Greenwich Peninsula Housing Development

Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, has announced that he has agreed a deal that will kick-start housing development on the Greenwich Peninsula, involcing the construction of 1,350 new homes by the end of 2015.

As part of the deal brokered by the Mayor with the Secretary of State, Eric Pickles, the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) is working with its development partner, Greenwich Peninsula Regeneration Ltd (GPRL), to facilitate the start of the next phase of house building on the 190 acre plot.

The Greenwich Peninsula

Around 10,000 new homes, 600 student beds, and 3.5 million sq ft of commercial floorspace are ultimately planned for the site, transforming what was an old gas works into a major new residential, business and leisure district.

Boris Johnson said: “The transformation of Greenwich Peninsula is undoubtedly one of the most exciting development opportunities in London. This latest phase of regeneration will seal its future as a thriving, well-connected new district, combining vibrant new residential areas and fantastic leisure facilities.”

Eric Pickles, said: “The Mayor and I can announce we’ve unlocked this once stalled site in Greenwich that will now get workers back on site, construction back on track and help get our Capital City building in 2012 the new homes Londoners needs. London and the taxpayer are getting real value for money and a return on their land and investment.”

Greenwich Council said it welcomes any move which will promote the development of the Greenwich Peninsula but that everyone must push forward to ensure it actually takes place. The council said: “This announcement appears to be yet another launch for Greenwich Peninsula Regeneration Ltd (GPRL) about getting ready to build houses. They have had outline planning permission for eight years. We need action not photo opportunities.

“The opportunity to develop new homes existed years before anyone had heard of the credit crunch and yet all they have done is sit on the land. Even now, no detailed planning applications for sites they claim to be developing have been submitted to the Council.

“Greenwich Council would very much prefer the GPRL consortium to leave the peninsula and hand the land back to partners willing to match our own ambition for development. While they have sat on the land, AEG has created the world’s leading music venue at The O2 and West Properties has secured planning permission for London’s only quayside cruise liner terminal. Other plans for hotels and housing have been agreed with other peninsula developers during this period.

“The land transfer to the London Mayor is also a concern. During his period of office, the Mayor has pulled major transport infrastructure projects from Greenwich which has hindered growth and development, and the transfer of land to him raises very real fears that any profits from developments that do take place will not be invested in Greenwich; we are concerned that instead this will go to pay off debts he has accrued on the Olympic Park. There needs to be transparency about how the revenue from land deals is used.

“While City Hall and the developers seek to reduce the levels of affordable housing proposed for the peninsula, we seek an assurance that such funding will be used to honour the commitments made by the developers and City Hall to provide the proportion of affordable housing to which they agreed in legal documents upon the granting of planning permission.”

3 Mar 2009

Greenwich Housing Development

Greenwich Peninsula Housing, southeast London

Design: Jestico + Whiles

A density of 460 dwellings per hectare is about as compact as you can get. Add to that a development brief calling for a variety of dwelling sizes and tenures (40% shared ownership and affordable rent) and two storeys of car parking, and the result could have been an unwieldy, monolithic management nightmare. But the architects for this key site near the Millennium Dome have skillfully re-cast the outline proposal contained in the overall masterplan to open up the building form towards the new central park.

Greenwich Peninsula Housing Greenwich Peninsula Housing London Greenwich Housing London
pictures from architects

By splitting the upper levels into three separate blocks, each with their own distinctive form and use of materials, views through and out of the site are preserved, while ingenious three and two storey houses stacked on top of each other in the intervening spaces mask the car park core, and add street life to the new ‘mini-park’ formed on top of it.

This central, private landscape is linked to the public park by a grand staircase, and the intention is that the two will flow naturally into each other, aided by planting cascading over the edge; and that residents will be encouraged to use this route as part of their daily journey to and from home, rather than being obliged always to enter from the street.

The three-building split also enables flats to be planned around individual lift and service cores, minimising internal corridor lengths and maximising the number of dual aspect apartments; while all dwellings have their own private open space in the form of generous balconies.

What is particularly striking about this scheme as a prototype is the promise it gives of a new type of urban pattern not hitherto attempted in London. The blank canvas of the Greenwich Peninsula has been exploited to produce a strong urban grid with a scale more reminiscent of Paris or even central New York than the byways of South London.
It will make an interesting contrast to the more romantic planning of the Millennium Village further south. But every city needs such contrasts, and every city needs the choices they offer in different ways of living. Here is a scheme which makes a very firm statement about what that way of living might be, and does so with great conviction and panache.

Greenwich Peninsula Housing images / information from Jestico + Whiles

Greenwich Peninsula Housing design : Jestico + Whiles

Location: Greenwich Peninsula, London, England, UK

Greenwich Peninsula Housing is part of the Terry Farrell & Partners masterplan

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