Our design for Jervis Court comprehensively re‑plans and intensifies the use of a public‑facing site along a local high street in Dagenham, East London. As well as providing a greater number of affordable homes, the project represents an opportunity to re‑establish a sense of place and civic purpose to the area through the inclusion of dedicated community spaces and a nursery.
The site was previously flanked by a linear housing block, with large areas of blank and unused green space at its perimeter and a set of ill‑defined walkways to the rear. Our design rethinks the entire plot with a building that not only creates more habitable space, but also strengthens the street with a strong frontage, enables greater local permeability and wayfinding through widened pavements and reinstates greenery to the centre of the plan.
Composed of four separate urban blocks, the approach at Jervis Court addresses two distinct scales and conditions. To the rear, a mansion block and a row of low‑rise terraced housing is designed to extend and complement the existing grain of homes which lie along Rectory Road and Vicarage Road. At the high street, two taller elements redefine the high street and create new local landmarks.
Pentagonal in form, the shape and arrangement of these taller blocks optimises aspect, light and views through the scheme. At ground level they are linked by a robust podium containing local retail, community uses and the nursery. The podium level also acts as a buffer to the busy main road and protects a new large south‑facing communal garden, an intimate place of respite and recreation for residents.
Inside the taller buildings, all homes are designed to be dual‑aspect, with large windows and recessed balconies carved out of four of the five corners of the two buildings, giving them distinct articulation and a sense of depth, while providing important sheltered outdoor space.
Affordable family homes are a vital component of any community and the project also provides 3 and 4‑bedroom dwellings, many of which are in the terrace of townhouses to the south of the project along Vicarage Road. Here, homes are accessed through their own private front gardens, forming thresholds which are designed to feel safer, more personal and have a better relationship to the street and the wider residential neighbourhood.