Cressingham Gardens is a Lambeth council estate in the south of Brixton, bordering Brockwell Park. Among other things, its design – 1968 by Lambeth architect Ted Hollamby – focused primarily on the estate’s relationship with the park, and on creating a set of spaces which encourage a kind of communal living.
Among 5 other estates in Lambeth, Cressingham Gardens has been earmarked for ‘regeneration’ – a process which began over 3 years ago, initially in response to the need for refurbishment. Following the Labour council’s last election promise to build 1000 new council homes in Lambeth over 5 years, to the need to refurbish was added the desire to build more homes, and so demolition is now a possible future for the residents of the estate.
Following a consultation during which the residents felt like their needs were not being taken seriously by the council, Cressingham Gardens residents have started to explore alternatives to demolition.
Students from DMU were based in Cressingham throughout the spring term, exploring the principles of social housing at Cressingham, which they presented at a workshop at Peer Gallery in March 2015, and which has fed into ASH’s research and forged a healthy ongoing relationship with Cressingham.
Following on from this, in conjunction with the residents, ASH and DMU are currently helping put together a masterplan for the estate, showing all the options available to the residents. Among these, they are exploring the design of a small housing block in place of a block of flats which has laid empty for over 16 years. The form of this block will take inspiration from the existing architecture, and attempt to provide a new communal space as well as additional flats for social rent.
ASH are also looking at a series of other possible interventions into the estate, and will be working alongside Sturgis to explore the green refurbishment proposals.