Our masterplan for the Nightingale Estate, located to the north of Hackney Downs, is the outcome of a community‑led design process and a collaboration with Stephen Taylor Architects, Henley Halebrown and Townshend Landscape Architects. The scheme will provide a total of 400 new mixed‑tenure homes with community facilities, retail and public‑realm improvements that together reconcile and remake a fragmented urban neighbourhood.
Originally built in 1972, the estate was made up of 22‑storey towers and 8 to 10‑storey linear slab blocks. In the late 1990s, the estate was later re‑developed which involved many buildings being demolished, while one – Seaton Point Tower – was retained. In the early 2000s, a redevelopment which later stalled introduced a series of low‑rise,
low‑density homes. As a result of these changes, a collection of disparate elements emerged, with mixed building types and large unresolved and demolished areas.
Our masterplan reconnects the existing blocks to the wider district and opens up sightlines to Hackney Downs through a clear network of north‑south streets. At the same time, a unifying architectural language is established to tie the buildings together. Taking its cue from the adjacent townscape of large 3‑storey Victorian terraces and nearby mansion blocks, the project introduces high‑density housing at medium rise through a fine grain of evenly distributed alternating streets and courtyards. This familiar pattern creates a cohesive architectural landscape of parallel‑block typologies that is maintained through eight linear rows across four paired arrangements.
Across the estate, the new courtyard arrangements are open to admit light, forming a sequence of gable ends that articulate adjacent streets and address the park edge. To the east of our plan, a courtyard turns 90 degrees to manage the transition between the pattern of new streets and the edge of an estate park. This creates a set up like a traditional London square, with new and original buildings defining and enclosing the space. The revitalised Nightingale Estate will be united by an integrated public realm strategy with mature trees, mixed planting beds, wide pavements, regular seating areas and communal spaces that will redefine the neighbourhood and create a pedestrian‑focused environment.