Borough: The London Borough of Barking and Dagenham
Scale and use: 64 homes 625sqm community space
Tenure: 64% affordable, 36% London affordable rent
Located in the London Borough
of Barking and Dagenham, Jervis Court is a mixed-use building which replaces a
post-war council building of poor quality and ill-defined shared spaces which resulted
in areas of excess and unusable land. Our design comprehensively re-plans and
intensifies the use of the site, situated in a prominent, public-facing
position along the local High Street, increasing the number and diversity of
affordable homes, bringing forward a total of 64 dwellings, while providing
modern and flexible community space/ a nursery.
Our approach was to create a
building which connects into and enhances the wider pattern of activity along
the local High Street, thereby resolving the inactive frontage of the former
council block which extended the width of the site, with illegible entrances
which made the building feel closed-off from its surroundings. To comfortably
stitch the project into the wider urban pattern, our work has encompassed
revising and enhancing the public realm to form better, wider pavements,
enabling greater permeability along the main road, and enhanced connectivity to
important public spaces nearby, including Old Dagenham Park.
The new building, composed of four separate urban blocks of two distinct scales, is designed to redefine and strengthen the street layout and frontage, extending the existing grain of homes which lie along Rectory Road and Vicarage Road, with a mansion block and row of terraced housing, while two taller blocks establish a striking presence along the local High Street.
Pentagonal in form, the shape
and composition of these taller elements, linked by a robust podium, optimises
aspect, light and views through the scheme, into the podium and below to the
central communal garden - a place of
respite and recreation for residents away from the busy streetscape.
outdoor area for the on-site nursery and community area is also present within
this green communal area, to ensure these inherent benefits are extended to
all. Within the buildings, all homes are designed to be spacious and
dual-aspect, with large windows and recessed balconies carved out from four of
the five corners, giving the block articulation and a sense of depth, while
providing sheltered outdoor space for building users.
Affordable family homes are a
vital component of any community, and as such, the project brings forward 17, 3
and 4 bedroom dwellings, several of which are in the carefully considered
terrace of townhouses along Vicarage Road. Private front gardens lead to
private font doors to the terraced houses and maisonettes, extending the
building line and residential character of the street, while establishing
thresholds into homes which are designed to feel safer and more personal.
Our palette is
cohesive, with materials including warm rust-red brickwork and pre-cast coping
and cills used across all four buildings to extend and amplify the architectural
language of homes in the surrounding area, resulting in robust council homes
which are built to last, thereby maximising their legacy.
Textured precast concrete in a darker tone highlights the podium which sits below the taller pentagonal blocks, giving a strong civic presence and special attention to the community space and public entrances along the main road.
Local residents have had influence in how their neighbourhood is changing, with public engagement events held with the design team, as well as specific consultation with the local nursery, to better understand how their space needs to function. Our design demonstrates how pieces of public land can and should be effectively re-planned and adapted to provide a greater number of affordable homes which better serve the needs of their community.