To challenge the ingrained local stigma attached to the site of Erith Park, we needed to deliver a really striking new neighbourhood, which challenged entrenched perceptions. We wanted to construct homes and streets with a distinctive character – not just a new estate like many others.
The regeneration of the Erith Park sets a new precedent for the area, one that encourages community cohesion and social diversity. This was achieved through the demolition of the former Larner Road Estate, which was blighted by social problems. A comprehensive redevelopment of the site, supported by the creation of a positive, safe, affordable and family friendly environment for the community of Erith, was the only sustainable option.
Erith is an area of relatively low property values. Together with the high proportion of affordable housing on the site, we had to control costs very carefully. Our brief to our architects, Broadway Malyan was 'Wow on a budget'.
We’re delighted with the enthusiasm with which they responded to the challenge. Together we have developed a new neighbourhood of real quality, which new residents of all tenures are proud to call home.
Most importantly, Erith Park is designed for its residents. The architecture is concerned with place making; providing residents with a permanent sense of belonging to somewhere of value. The value resides within the design layouts and orientation of the rooms, apartments, amenity spaces and relationship of houses and neighbouring apartment buildings. Erith Park makes a significant contribution to the sense of place, a significant contribution to the residential community in Erith and is now held in esteem by its new residents, who are proud to call it home.
Early consultation with residents helped to develop our design concept for Erith Park. Together we visited other recent developments in the area, critically appraising them and discussing what did and didn’t work. Our vision was to create a desirable residential neighbourhood, a place where residents of all tenures are proud to live in. New pedestrian and vehicular entrances have been provided to enhance the permeability and connectivity of the site. The houses follow regular street patterns that promote active streetscapes and facilitate natural surveillance within the development.
Orbit will be managing Erith Park for many years to come so, both we and our residents wanted to ensure that it would still look as high-quality many years after the homes are completed. The management is the catalyst for design innovation within the public realm with the introduction of a homezone.