A residential scheme in London featuring a landscape concept by Grant Associates has been shortlisted for the 2016 RIBA Stirling Award.
Trafalgar Place, designed by dRMM Architects, forms the first part of a £1.5bn regeneration scheme of the former Heygate Estate at Elephant & Castle by developer Lend Lease in partnership with Southwark Council.
The scheme’s shortlisting for RIBA’s most prestigious accolade follows its two recent wins at the 2016 National RIBA Awards. Trafalgar Place picked up a RIBA National Award and a RIBA London Award in recognition of its design excellence. Trafalgar Place is one of just six buildings in the running for RIBA’s Stirling Award for the UK’s best new building.
Earlier this year, the development of 235 homes also won the ‘Best New Place to Live’ award and the ‘Mayor’s Award for Planning Excellence’ at the 2016 London Planning Awards.
Key to the scheme’s final identity was the creation of a landscape strategy by Grant Associates that retained the former estate’s signature tree canopy of 25 mature London Plane trees. The landscape strategy also saw the planting of 100 new trees on the site and in the local area.
New public spaces were created with a woodland walk adjacent to Victory Primary School to the north. In addition, a central thoroughfare – Paragon Row – now links the communities to the east and west of the site. A landscaped courtyard at Trafalgar Place’s heart serves as a focal point for residents and visitors, creating civic space to help cultivate community spirit.
The RIBA judges praised the scheme’s retention of mature trees and the overall landscape design concept, commenting in their summary:
“The retention of mature trees on the site is highly effective, giving a level of delight and settled permanence rarely achievable in new housing, and leading the massing towards greater specificity. The delightful landscaping manages to achieve safety, defensible space and robustness, whist still feeling open relaxed and comfortable. It is excellent to see landscape carried through to completion with such conviction.”
Trafalgar Place is a tenure-blind development that mixes private and social housing, integrating the apartments’ design with the historic fabric of the predominantly 19th century neighbourhood. The former Heygate Estate was renowned for its huge concrete tenant blocks, linked by a warren of tunnels and elevated walkways.
Trafalgar Place is part of a scheme by Lend Lease and Southwark Council to regenerate a total of 28 acres of land across three sites in Elephant & Castle. The project includes delivering 3,000 new homes, office, retail, community and leisure space by 2025.
The winner of the RIBA Stirling Prize will be announced on Thursday, October 6th 2016.
For the RIBA judges’ full summary of the scheme, please click here.