After three months of site visits, fact finding workshops, and resident interviews, the team of architects tasked with updating and redesigning housing estate Lancaster West—home to the Grenfell Tower—has released preliminary renderings of design solutions as part of a 456-page book of ideas. This effort was initiated in the months following the deadly Grenfell Tower fire, which left 71 people dead; however, the tower is not included in renovation plans.
"These books are the next steps in our work with architects and the council to design the future of the estate," wrote the Lancaster West Residents' Association in the report. "This work will give us a major voice on the future of our own homes."
During the research process, teams from London firms Adjaye Associates, Cullinan Studio, Levitt Bernstein, Maccreanor Lavington, Murray John Architects, and Penoyre & Prasad discovered multiple common issues experienced by residents, including inefficient apartment layouts lacking storage and accessibility; poor ventilation and insulation; delinquent maintenance on elevators, gutters, lighting, and corridors; insufficient trash collection and pest control; poor security protocols; lack of indoor and outdoor community spaces and gardens; and unenforced parking regulations. The residents also expressed interest in incorporating clean energy solutions such as solar panels
To address these problems, each firm was assigned a specific structure or area of the 1,000-household estate to update. After each proposal has been reviewed, the residents will vote on which designers will carry out the restoration and renovation of their proposed plans. Below are some of the recommendations.
Adjaye Associates, Camborne Mews and Camelford Court
For Camborne Mews, Adjaye Associates proposes raising the parking lot to create a shared car parking area and replacing existing stairs with ramps to ease accessibility. Adjaye also recommends redesigning entrances with new landscpaing, adding balconies to apartments on the first and second floors for increased outdoor space, and raising the height of the ground floor amenity space for improved access. For Camelford Court, Adjaye designed a more secured pedestrian area by resurfacing the streets, adding directional lighting and communal landscaping, and improving entrances.
Penoyre & Prasad, Upper and Lower Camelford Walk, Lower Clarendon Walk, Clarendon Walk, Upper Clarendon Walk, and Upper and Lower Talbot Walk
To improve heating and insulation, Penoyre & Prasad proposes adding a new insulated brick skin to the exterior of Lower Clarendon Walk, Clarendon Walk, and Upper Clarendon Walk. The firm also outlines potential apartment reconfigurations for improved accessibility and corridor renovations for better lighting and a warmer scheme.
Levitt Bernstein, Morland House and Talbot Grove House
The firm suggests new apartment layouts, the addition of shared gardens and overlooking balconies, and the installation of an elevator to address resident concerns about safety, community space, and maintenance.