Units and density: A mixed-use, mixed-tenure masterplan covering 82 hectares, which will create around 10,000 homes and 6,700 new jobs - currently one of the country’s largest live regeneration projects.
Status: Site wide masterplan - strategy complete First phase (Willoughby Lane) - detailed planning Meridian Water Station - on-site Meridian Works meanwhile use - detailed planning
Awards: Commended New London Architecture Awards 2017 - Masterplans & Area Strategies Shortlisted AJ Architecture Awards 2017 - Masterplan Shortlisted World Architecture Festival Awards 2017
Meridian Water is one of the UK’s largest regeneration projects, covering 82 hectares. It will reshape an industrial and retail site into an integrated district of thriving, truly mixed-use neighbourhoods. The vision is an exemplar council-led model of public sector proactive planning, guided by an experienced design and technical team.
Located in the southeast of the London Borough of Enfield, Meridian Water will be a model for a sustainable piece of city, making the most of the opportunities offered by the new Meridian Water Station, Cross Rail 2 and its location in the incredible landscape of the Upper Lea Valley.
Following an OJEU competition, Karakusevic Carson was appointed by LB Enfield in mid-2015 to produce a masterplan for the 82 hectare Meridian Water site.
Meridian Water will provide 10,000 high-quality, desperately needed homes across a range of tenures, as well as 6,700 new jobs. Varied and affordable residential accommodation will cater to a wide spectrum to ensure diversity and avoid reliance on market driven delivery. Affordable homes for rent, key workers and shared ownership will sit alongside private rent, sale and extra care housing. Typologies range from maisonettes to flats, including hybrid spaces to live and work. Community infrastructure - civic, cultural and leisure facilities - will support both new and existing neighbourhoods. These will be provided alongside commercial services and amenities that everyone will be able to easily reach and enjoy.
The site has a long industrial heritage, however, today the industrial buildings are under-occupied with less than 2,000 employees. The de-designation of the site as Strategic Industrial Land (SIL) allows for a radical transformation of the area. LBE will reprovide space for existing industries either on site or in neighbouring areas. Options for the retention, adaptation or co-location of existing big box retail are nested within the masterplan framework and phasing.
The masterplan will improve the currently disconnected and inhospitable access to the Lea Valley Regional Park and waterways, promoting health and wellbeing with a robust walkable and cycle-friendly public realm network. Improving and extending the site’s roads, rail and waterways provide the opportunity to connect east-west and north-south through Meridian Water and beyond; the masterplan aims to establish Meridian Water as not only a through route, but a district and destination in its own right.
1.Scale, Massing & Mix High quality built form responds to context. A horizontal and vertical mix of uses is encouraged.
2.Framed Public Realm Routes and spaces with active frontages line the waterways and connect education, businesses, community facilities and residential areas.
3.Green & Blue Network The Lee Valley Regional Park supports health and wellbeing with safe and legible access to nearby amenities.
4.Movement Network Clear and legible networks of bus, cycle and pedestrian routes will integrate with surrounding infrastructure.
5.East to West Spine A central spine - ‘the Causeway’ - provides connectivity from Meridian Water train station to the Upper Lee Valley Park.
Central to the site is the Causeway - a ‘spine’ supporting retail, leisure, active workspaces, community and cultural uses, complementing the character of the neighbourhoods adjacent to it. The Causeway will be a contemporary ‘high street’ traversing Meridian Water east to west, forging connections with the wider context. It will carry all modes of transport, prioritising pedestrians, cycles and buses.
Early council-led investment is seen as critical to transforming the perception of the area. A Meanwhile Use strategy is being implemented that includes projects from tree nurseries to the re-use of existing industrial sheds that support design, innovation and places of production.
One such project is Meridian Works, which involves the repurposing of the two huge industrial sheds adjacent to the River Lee Navigation. They will be run by non-for profit makers organizations Building Bloqs and ACAVA educational charity and will provide workspace for 500 makers, sculptors and artists. This initiative builds on the rich industrial and artisanal heritage of the area and takes account of current London trends and the need for space in relation to the creative industries from making to skills training.
The provision and configuration of community and civic infrastructure and commercial services will be monitored throughout the phased development, acknowledging that the ways in which we communicate, work, play and live will transform over the 20-30 year realisation of what must ultimately be a resilient piece of city.
Lead Architect and Masterplanner: Karakusevic Carson Architects
Landscape and Public Realm: Karakusevic Carson Architects, Periscope Landscape and OKRA
Transport, Infrastructure and Sustainability: ARUP