© Morley von Sternberg
© Morley von Sternberg

Angell Town Estate

One of Lambeth’s most notorious housing estates since its creation in the 1970s, by the end of the 1990s this poorly planned pattern of blocks close to Brixton Road had become a crime hotspot. Local residents were pushing for a regeneration that would place the community at the centre of its plans, and we collaborated with architects Burrell Foley Fischer and the Local Authority to make this happen.

Throughout the process, the weekly meetings with residents were crucial in shaping the chosen design and construction methods. We aimed to renovate the buildings that were salvageable and create new blocks which would complement these. The residents wanted ‘bricks and mortar’ structures, and fresh new architecture that would not look like typical prefabricated council units.

Safety was also paramount: elevated walkways, isolated garages and dark corners were eliminated in favour of straightforward, low-rise blocks with dedicated stairwells, only providing access to several units at each level.

We were constantly considering the needs of the end users, and designing from a building management perspective. The finished product needed to be aesthetically excellent, but also easy to manage and use. The services design, for example, was kept simple, running vertically to ensure that any problems could be pinpointed and tracked to residents living within the same cores. A rapid programme was implemented to minimise inconvenience to residents, who were temporarily re-housed during construction.

Instead of designing corner flat units, we made clusters of mews houses; this provided extra external space for the small families and couples that would have been using these large corner flats. By introducing a number of different types of space, we opened things out somewhat, and provided squares and pedestrian access which gave the development some sense of identity. Home zone areas helped to slow traffic, yet routes connected into the existing street pattern and provided access to areas which had previously been isolated.

Regeneration of a notorious housing estate in inner-city London

London, UK
London Borough of Lambeth
Burrell Foley Fischer
£ 18 million

  • 2004 Civic Trust Award – Commendation
  • 2002 Housing Design Award
  • 2002 Brick Award – Supreme Winner
  • 2002 Brick Award – Best Public Housing Development
  • 2002 RIBA Award
  • 2000 Environmental Award
  • 2000 Housing Design Award