Designed and delivered following significant community engagement, the first two phases of the Kings Crescent Estate Masterplan combine carefully refurbished and new social housing within an ambitious public realm and civic amenities. Importantly for a project of its kind, the design is completely tenure blind, with social rent, locally affordable and market sale homes mixed seamlessly throughout the masterplan.
Our aim was to re‑link the run‑down and partially demolished estate back into the city and improve the lives of residents who had been left living around a hoarded off pile of rubble for almost two decades. In our re‑design, well‑overlooked and connected streets and spaces extend to link‑up with the wider urban grain and create a strong framework for the placement of new residential buildings. A semi‑pedestrianised and landscaped ‘playstreet’, Murrain Road, is at the heart of the scheme and links all homes to nearby Clissold Park. Furnished with traditional and interpretive play equipment, the street is a lively and active place where people can meet neighbours and friends.
New buildings and refurbished council homes are carefully combined to form linear courtyard blocks, with landscaped gardens at their centre. The set of three new buildings in phase 1&2 signal a fresh approach to public housing with bold, confident and elegant buildings articulated with fine grain detailing and crafted from beautiful, hardwearing materials. Their massing and elevations subtly respond to surrounding Victorian housing and the existing 1960s blocks, with taller buildings creating a strong urban frontage along the primary routes and the park edge.
Retained 1960s council homes are upgraded with winter balconies and re‑worked entrance sequences and staircases, crafted in a complementary material palette. Across the new residential buildings, a mix of dwellings types and tenures are provided to meet local need and range from 1‑4 bedroom flats all with their own balconies, to large family‑sized maisonettes on the upper floors. Double‑height communal entrances and lobbies with through views into courtyards and seating areas create a welcoming arrival into all homes from the street and are finished in a range of durable and hard‑wearing materials.