Housing Design Awards

Housing Design Awards

2010 WINNING SCHEMES > Completed Winners

Barking Central
London IG11


Allford Hall Monaghan Morris

Redrow Regeneration

Ardmore Construction

Planning Authority
London Borough of Barking and Dagenham

Public Realm Architect


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Barking Central
Barking Central
Barking Central
Barking Central
Barking Central
Barking Central

This feels like an epic of a bygone age. Heroic protagonists, the private and public sector, spark off each other for nine years against a backdrop of the tumultuous forces of the market. A glorious conclusion is tinged with the bitter-sweet sense that we won’t see the like again.

Only the architect and planning authority survive from the 2002 masterplan for 1.56 ha between Barking Town Hall and the district centre on Ripple Road. In 2005 Redrow and Aardmore stepped in not long after the scheme won a Project Award. Judges have been waiting to see all 514 apartments finished. In the first phase the cost of remodelling a 1970s library nibbled into the quality of apartments built over it. The second phase has been less costly to engineer, resulting in better apartments.

The scheme’s landmark is the Lemonade building, a 17-storey residential high-rise in an area where council ones have been demolished. It puts 65 m2 2-bed apartments at the corners, popular for a mix of competitive pricing and views best enjoyed from recessed balconies big enough to eat on. These are picked out in yellow and green, homage to R White’s lemonade which was canned locally. Access from lift to apartment in the tower feels smart and generous, stressing how this is market sale, not municipal housing. Nearly all 515 homes are.

Barking took its land value from its new Learning Centre which includes a conference suite and café alongside the library, and from public spaces between the buildings which are presented as a sequence of events and leisure, such as ping pong. Next to the town hall, a fake medieval ruin closing off a new square suggests Barking was a trading post with Constantinople. The landscape is as bubbly as a can of pop but in another quieter space, a sculpture commemorates how the local Cape Asbestos factory closed in 1968 continues to kill.

As the market turned down, Redrow switched the Piano Works from apartments to a Travelodge. The Bath Works, also built in the second phase, has 96 apartments mostly overlooking an arboretum of mature trees whose projecting balconies are powder-coated in a spectrum of autumnal leaf colours reflecting an installation by Andy Goldsworthy.

A walk past all of these works from the open-air cinema screen at one end on Ripple Road through the arboretum and onto the folly by the town hall impresses how regeneration is as dependent on the public realm as it is on new homes.

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