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Bacton Estate Masterplan

  • Aerial view of the existing estate, 2011

  • The existing estate, 2011

  • Community engagement event, 2011

  • Community engagement event, 2011

  • Masterplan model, 1:500

  • Ground floor plan

  • Axonometric of the masterplan looking north

  • Sketch of shared residential courtyard

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Camden Council 
The London Borough of Camden
Phase 1 completed 2015, Phase 2 in detailed design
Units and density
293 homes, 155dph
46% affordable, 54% market sale

The Bacton Estate Masterplan is a community‑driven project for neighbourhood change in Gospel Oak, North London that provides scope for c.294 mixed‑tenure homes across a set of well‑crafted urban buildings with new public routes and shared landscaped spaces. The project has been characterised by extensive engagement with a vocal Tenants and Residents Association who have played a fundamental role in the estate’s re‑design from the beginning.

The renewed neighbourhood is a contextual and contemporary expression of urban family life and a purposeful departure from the former 1960s estate design of enclosed geometric block arrangements and poor pedestrian experience, which made the area feel unsafe and difficult to navigate. Our masterplan seeks to establish a better relationship to the wider urban area, while creating spacious quality homes with welcoming and fit‑for‑purpose public and communal areas throughout.

Critical to the brief was to keep the close‑knit community living together throughout the renewal process. This has been made possible through an intelligent phasing and re‑housing strategy which began with the placement of 46 family homes for social rent and an apartment building on a vacant plot directly to the north‑east of the estate, forming Phase 1a of the masterplan.

This intervention helped to define a revised public realm and street network, with the line of Vicarage Road extended westwards to forge a link through the heart of the scheme, opening up sightlines to the nearby Grade I* listed St Martin’s Church and enhancing its role as a focal point in the neighbourhood and facilitating links to surrounding areas. New connecting pedestrian routes in our plan are lined with a regular rhythm of private and communal entrances which wrap around the neighbourhood to create a safer and more enjoyable entry sequences. To manage the visual impact of new urban blocks, a variety of housing typologies and building forms at different scales are established. Through their materiality, details and articulation, the sit cohesively in the area and define shared spaces and promote activity. 

Our masterplan approach has been informed by nurturing the strong sense of community on the Bacton Estate and amplifying their collective voice through an in‑depth design process to create a place they can be proud to call home.

Design Team

Landscape and public realm
Rolton Group
Rolton Group
Rolton Group


Housing Design Awards 2014 ‑ shortlist
New London Awards 2014 ‑ shortlist


Agnese Sanvito (architectural model)