Faircharm Creative Quarter

Karakusevic Carson Architects

Client: 
Workspace

Borough: 
London Borough Lewisham

Units and density: 
Conversion of Industrial space to 5000m2 arts and studio workspace & 148 homes

Tenure: 
85% Market Sale and 15% Affordable

Awards: 
Part of winning submission for “Housing Architect of the Year Award 2013”
Winner Housing Design Award 2014

We have worked collaboratively with Workspace, Local Community Groups, and Lewisham design and conservation teams and planning department to regenerate and yet retain the character of this vibrant creative district and gain grass root support for the approach.

The proposals create a series of legible spaces and views between the retained buildings and new-build elements which are designed to respect the urban grain of the historic district with its established network of courtyards and alleys, enhancing its character and creating a new connection to the Creek Edge. The insertion of courtyards within the retained blocks helps create informal gathering/work spaces (as well as improving internal lighting levels) that make up a diverse and attractive succession of outdoor spaces across the site. 

Karakusevic Carson Architects
Karakusevic Carson Architects
Karakusevic Carson Architects
Karakusevic Carson Architects
Karakusevic Carson Architects
Karakusevic Carson Architects
Karakusevic Carson Architects

The Urban Design Strategy to extend the grain of the 1940’s Crossfields Estate into the site creates a series of ideal mixed use plots where we have designed four buildings to contain studios and creative workspace with residential accommodation above. The scheme restores and remodels two of the existing warehouse buildings fronting on to Creekside Road to create a series of studio spaces, workshops and an extended cafe/gallery space. A series of 4 new buildings further into the site create additional high quality studio/gallery spaces with residential accommodation on the upper floors. The new buildings range from 6 to 12 storeys.

KCA led discussion with Design for London and the GLA from whom we have had very positive feedback. The buildings (including a 14 storey mixed use, market sale apartment building) above the main sewer will incorporate solid timber panel frames with a high quality facing brick. The scheme has been designed to meet CfSH 4/5, and BREEAM excellent by incorporating CHP, triple glazing and PV panels.

The site was formerly occupied by a chemical factory and gas storage tanks and so has the added complexity of a high pressure gas main and main sewer running diagonally below the site in addition to being in the path of the protected viewing corridor from Blackheath to St Pauls. The site being located on the banks of Deptford Creek also meant the design has had to respond to an 18 month negotiation with the Environment Agency and Thames Water over the contamination below ground and the structural stability and future maintenance of the river wall. KCA have overcome often contradictory regulations and working with our engineers designed a scheme that optimises the site and still responds in a contextual way to the historic qualities of the site and the local character.

The scheme achieved planning in the Summer 2013 and KCA are currently working on the detailed design, stages E&F (RIBA 4. The project is due to start on site mid 2014. From the very early stages of the project the Client and Design Team have also engaged with existing tenants, local residents, businesses and institutions to discuss and exchange ideas and opportunities relating to the regeneration of the area. At strategic points throughout the design process exhibitions and drop-in events within Faircharm have proved popular and informative.  

Karakusevic Carson Architects
Karakusevic Carson Architects
Karakusevic Carson Architects
Karakusevic Carson Architects

Design Team:

Architects: Karakusevic Carson Architects

Landscape and Public Realm: Witherford Watson Mann

Planning: Tibbalds Planning and Urban Design

Engineers: Furness Partnership and Hoare Lea

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