Too many tall buildings. Too little affordable housing. Too few planners and too slow a planning process: we are bombarded by stories about London’s property market, many of which could leave you feeling the future is pretty bleak.
The good news is that we are building some excellent contemporary housing schemes. The real gems aren’t the glitzy buildings behind flash hoardings but those that embody new standards in their approach.
For a look at what the future could hold for housing, head to rapidly changing Elephant and Castle. There, you’ll find the first phase of Lendlease’s occasionally controversial plans to renew the old Heygate Estate in Walworth, demolished between 2011 and 2014 and now replaced with one designed by dRMM.
Trafalgar Place knits 235 new homes into the surrounding area with a new pedestrian street that’s lined with front doors, but with upper flats oriented around a raised community garden. This approach, known as a “podium”, is becoming increasingly popular in London. The main aim of dRMM was to steer away from the alienating size of the vast Heygate Estate and discover what people wanted through local consultation.