Southwark Council has appointed a design team for its proposed development on the site of the Currys PC World and adjacent B&M store.
In 2019, Southwark Council acquired the land occupied by the stores (at 585-589 and 593-613 Old Kent Road) for redevelopment.
It expects to build around 500 new homes on the combined sites which, together, comprise some 1.4 acres. Half of the new homes will be much needed new council homes for social rent.
The scheme, which will be a net zero carbon development (in line with the council’s climate emergency commitments) will also create a significant amount of new commercial space and possibly space for a Further Education college too.
Now, the council has appointed a team to start work on designing the scheme.
The team is led by three architectural practices, which were chosen using the new Architect Design Services Framework (ADSF) adopted by the council, last year.
All three practices; Morris + Company, Weston Williamson and Westport, have prior experience of working in Southwark.
Westport recently restored a Victorian warehouse to create new homes in Glengall Road; Morris + Co have designed the new Health Centre for the Aylesbury estate and Weston Williamson were the designers for a council scheme that delivered 48 new homes on Spa Road .
The new ADSF procurement process, used to select the architects, is the first of its kind and reflects an ambitious new approach to public housing delivery in Southwark. The framework seeks to draw upon a pool of both established and emerging design practices with a diverse leadership and workforce.
In particular, the council wants to work with and support BAME-led practices that can bring a new range of perspectives to this work; reflecting the varied cultures and differing needs of Southwark’s diverse population.
The selection of Westport, as one of the three practices that will collaborate on this major masterplanning project, is a good example.
Formed just five years ago, all three of Westport’s Principle Architects are from ethnic minorities, as is the majority of their team. It’s a good indication that the council is taking the right steps and is moving in the right direction.
Southwark is on track to build 2,500 of its 11,000 new council home target, across the borough, by 2022.
In the longer term, the regeneration of Old Kent Road, alone, will create 20,000 new homes, including at least 5,000 for social rent.
Public consultation on the Currys PC World scheme will begin next year and the first new homes could be delivered in 2024.
Find out more about the benefits of regenerating Old Kent Road.