The restoration and redevelopment of the Carpenters Estate in Stratford is one of London’s largest and most ambitious estate regeneration initiatives. After two decades of failed redevelopment attempts, in 2018 Newham’s new Mayor, Rokhsana Fiaz, announced a fresh start, tasking Populo Living to deliver a viable plan with residents at the heart of the process. Proctor and Matthews were appointed alongside Metropolitan Workshop in 2020 as masterplanners and architects for this landmark project.
An outline planning application was submitted in 2022 and will deliver up to 2022 new and refurbished homes, alongside a variety of community, education, commercial, retail and hospitality space. Delivering a public realm structure that reflects the vibrancy of London’s historic neighbourhoods, the plan proposes a ‘real piece of London’, restoring and enhancing Carpenters sense of community and delivering a mix of housing types that support diversity. A resident’s ballot delivered more than 70% majority in favour of the proposals.
The illustrative masterplan provides a new defined spatial structure across Carpenters that supports differing development scales and building typologies. This new structure captures existing historic routes, refurbished buildings and landscape structures in a new palimpsest creating a hierarchy of principle streets, mews, lanes and landscape courts. This new townscape plan is supported with a series of ‘marker’ buildings and significant changes in built scale to support the varying urban qualities required across the plan. Urban thresholds provide a clear transition between the masterplans differing public realm characters.
Taller mixed-use buildings, with commercial and community uses set within double height spaces at the ground floors and apartments above, activate the plans outer edges along Jupp and Gibbons Roads, the neighbourhood’s principle north south streets. The mixed-use nature of these arteries and the denser typologies proposed helps to stitch the Carpenters Estate into the existing urban fabric and provides space for existing businesses as well as generating new economic opportunities for the community. A greater intensity of commercial and employment spaces is focussed along the northern edge of the site adjacent to the railway line and will deliver a range of workspace, training, and commercial opportunities. The masterplan also includes new buildings for the Building Crafts College, a hotel, and the Dockland’s Sports and Community Centre, as well as improved access into Stratford Station and the Olympic Park.
Two existing 1960’s tower blocks, James Riley Point and Lund Point will be retained and refurbished to provide modern and sustainable homes. At the base of James Riley Point the new Docklands Community Centre will replace existing outdated facilities and with 137 refurbished homes will become the flagship first phase of the masterplan. Lund Point will also have a new activated ground floor, with arts, exhibition and makers space, as well as renewed and reconfigured apartments to rent.
A large neighbourhood park sits at the heart of the masterplan capturing existing landscape and trees and is surrounded by lower rise apartment buildings and maisonettes. This domestic park is bisected by the neighbourhood’s principle east west artery, a green route (Lett Road) for pedestrians and cyclists that connects Stratford High Street with the Olympic Park. More intimate mews streets and communal courtyards supporting family housing also lead into the new park. Across the wider plan a further network of multi-functional open spaces and landscaped pedestrian routes work together to create a varied public realm and fine grain pedestrian network supporting a '15-minute' neighbourhood. Seven key open spaces range from the central neighbourhood park to vibrant public squares animated by spill-out spaces and distinctive play features.
In total over £1 billion will be invested in restoring the estate and creating new homes through phased plans that will be delivered over the next 15-20 years.
Consultation with residents was integral to the development of the regeneration proposals for Carpenters. In 2019 Proctor and Matthews and Metropolitan Workshop were appointed to begin a conversation with residents concerning aspirations and hopes for the future of the neighbourhood. Early options were developed through workshops and presentations with residents asked to score the pros and cons for each. The results of this engagement informed the development of the detailed Resident’s Brief that became the guiding principles for the masterplan.
The resident consultation process was then further enhanced by the engagement consultant Make:Good and the establishment by Populo Living of a dedicated engagement hub, ‘The Dovetail’ located at the heart of the estate. The Dovetail provided continuing focus for engagement events throughout the masterplanning process as well as becoming an important social space for discussing wider community issues.
Working so closely with residents helped to build trust and confidence in emerging ideas and options and delivered a masterplan that both captures resident’s aspirations as well as reflecting the unique history and character of this part of London.