03 March 2017
PLACE/Ladywell is a pop-up village designed by RSHP and commissioned by Lewisham Council with AECOM currently occupying the former site of a demolished leisure centre in Ladywell. It provides homes for 24 families previously on Lewisham Council’s housing waiting list, and its innovative design means that it can be deconstructed and reconstructed elsewhere in the borough when the current site is ready for permanent development.
It is a practical solution to London’s growing housing crisis, but it is also an efficient and high-quality piece of design. The prefabricated modular components are made in a factory in Sheffield by SIG Build Systems and delivered finished and fitted out to the site. This dramatically reduces costs and construction times, and means that the homes can be finished to an extremely high standard. Every flat is filled with natural light, and excellent insulation means heating bills are around £10 a day. Ceilings of 2.6m high add to the above-standard sizes to create a sense of space.
On the ground floor of the development, space has been reserved for a charity-run café, a community cinema, a co-working space, and units for small businesses, proving that commercial development can give back to the community.
The project has previously won the NLA award for “Best Temporary Housing” and the Mayor’s Prize 2016.
Speaking after the awards ceremony, RSHP Associate Partner Andrew Partridge said: “We are delighted to receive this honour. It shows recognition for Lewisham Council’s innovative housing vision, and the power of RSHP’s quality design. London’s housing crisis is severe, but it’s not inevitable, and projects like this show a way forward.”