Carpenters Estate Regeneration

Stratford, London

Metropolitan Workshop were in the summer 2020 appointed by Populo Living as Masterplanner and Architect for the regeneration of the Carpenters Estate, alongside architects Proctor and Matthews.

Plans were submitted for outline planning approval in 2022 for the Estate; one of the largest and most ambitious estate regeneration programmes in London. Carpenters Estate offers a unique location, on the fringe of the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and adjacent to Stratford Town Centre and Station. The Estate has seen many failed and unsuitable redevelopment attempts over the last two decades and residents have waited too long to see much needed investment in their community. In November 2018 Mayor Rokhsana Fiaz announced a new start; tasking Populo Living to deliver a viable masterplan with residents at the centre of new plans and decision making.

The culmination of extensive consultation is a proposal to deliver up to 2,022 much-needed new and refurbished homes (to 50% genuinely affordable housing), alongside a diverse variety of community, education and commercial uses to support the growing neighbourhood and create ‘a real piece of London’. A key aspiration of the proposals is to restore the sense of community by building a neighbourhood that is safe, sustainable, and able to provide a broad array of house types, uses and public spaces at a variety of scales.

Narrative of the Place

The illustrative masterplan has been structured around enhancing and combining numerous existing open spaces and key historic routes across Carpenters. Within this framework, the proposals introduce a new, large, and verdant neighbourhood park for the community at the heart of Carpenters. This new amenity is surrounded by lower rise apartment buildings, houses and maisonettes, served by intimate mews streets and communal courtyards that offer a safe, permeable pedestrian network and a landscaped urban environment.

In contrast, the outer edges of the masterplan are designed to accommodate a number of taller mixed-use buildings, with commercial and community uses on the ground floors with residential apartments above. Non residential uses will be focused around key arterial movement routes and will be reinforced by a new direct entrance to Stratford Station. This vital new connection will help stitch the Carpenters Estate into the existing urban fabric and increase footfall, in turn bringing economic benefits for the community. This outer edge responds to the context of Stratford and taller buildings have been carefully located and orientated to consider and respond to the local townscape.

The proposals also incorporate the retention and refurbishment of two existing tower blocks: James Riley Point and Lund Point. These distinctive buildings are an integral component in the existing identity of Carpenters and will be sensitively reconfigured to provide modern homes and facilities. A new Docklands Community Centre will be provided at the base of James Riley Point, and the masterplan also includes new state of the art facilities for the Building Crafts College.

The diverse scales, land uses, street types and public space offerings culminate in the creation of a ‘real piece of London’ which has been advocated by residents from the outset. A variety of urban conditions will co-exist within the realised masterplan these will offer a characterful, vibrant, and inclusive piece of city underpinned by a burgeoning community of residents, businesses and civic functions.

Team: Tibbalds Planning & Urban Design (Lead Consultant & Planning) / Metropolitan Workshop & PMA (Masterplan & Plot Architects) / Mott MacDonald (Client Project Management and QS) / make:good (Community Engagement) / Campbell Reith (Structures, Civils & Transport) / XCO2 (Sustainability & Environment) / LDA Design (Landscape) / Phil Jones Associates (Transport & Movement) / Plan A (Design Management ) / PRD (Community Wealth Building)

Status: RIBA 0-2 (Outline Planning Application)

"Submitting the outline masterplan is a demonstration of our commitment to transforming the estate into a vibrant community and neighbourhood instead of a ghost town languishing because of historical neglect. With £1billion of investment in the Carpenters Estate, we are showing the scale of my administration’s ambition for our residents."

Mayor Rokhsana Fiaz

A Place for People

Residents have been waiting too long to see investment and improvements in their homes and across the estate. In 2019, Metropolitan Workshop and Proctor Matthews Architects were appointed to carry out initial consultation, with the aim to understand the residents’ aspirations for Carpenters. Several options were explored and presented to residents during a series of workshops. At the end of the workshops, residents were asked to vote on their preferred option. The voting results and residents asks went on to inform the Residents Brief. The Residents Brief underpins the masterplan principles and has guided ongoing dialogue between residents and the design team.

To embed the design within the neighbourhood, engagement consultant Make:Good, the design team and Populo set up a dedicated community space in the heart of Carpenters. The Dovetail has been used as a base for engagement events over the last two years, but it has also become a key space supporting the social value of Carpenters. Through a dedicated and targeted programme of events, the Dovetail has become a safe, familiar and friendly space for all Carpenters residents.

We are proud to have supported the residents of the estate in bringing forward such ambitious and well considered plans for the area. We believe that by working so closely with residents we have brought to life residents expectations and produced a masterplan which is quite unique to the site and a design that exceeds stakeholders expectations.

The success of working with residents on this project has contributed greatly to our in practice ethos and was a key point of reference in our research paper Prospects:People Powered Places. People Powered Places aims to enhance the rigour we bring to community engagement in planning and housing. The result of this process, People Powered Places: a practical guide to community engagement. Through review sessions facilitated by The Glass-House Community Led Design, community representatives have become active partners in the development of a series of principles and recommendations toward more meaningful community engagement.