London, GB


dRMM shortlisted for the 2016 RIBA Stirling prize - 14-07-2016

By Rachel Cassar
Aug 5, '16 5:28 AM EST

Last night dRMM’s latest residential scheme, Trafalgar Place, won a RIBA National Award. It was later announced that the scheme has been shortlisted for the RIBA Stirling Prize – the most prestigious uk award in architecture, celebrating European buildings that have made the greatest contribution to architecture.

Trafalgar Place is the first phase built by Lendlease as part of the regeneration of Elephant and Castle. The triangular ‘gateway’ site was laid out by dRMM as a precursor to the wider Elephant Park masterplan. The transformation of the former Heygate Estate aims to enrich the qualities of the area, creating a thriving, desirable place to live, work and visit. Trafalgar Place comprises 235 tenure-blind, high quality homes of which 25% are affordable dwellings. Separate buildings are integrated within an open green landscape characterised by mature trees and diverse new planting. A new public realm within the historic fabric of the neighbourhood is created.

The scheme was designed and developed in consultation with Southwark Council and local residents. The massing and height of the buildings provides the required density with a variety of scale and form; a mixture of mini-tower, apartment buildings and terraced houses. The forms are simple, prioritising interior space and spaces between buildings. Apartments are mainly dual aspect and designed to maximise natural daylight, ventilation and views.

The plot layout reconnects the dislocated adjacent neighbourhoods that were previously fractured by the elevated walkways and monolithic blocks of the Heygate Estate. The careful retention of 25 mature London Plane trees serves as a positive memory of the former estate and now frames character landscapes designed by Grant Associates. A new public street has been created through the scheme, along with an internal private landscaped courtyard – a community space for residents to cultivate food and neighbourliness.

Two of the buildings at Trafalgar Place are made from cross-laminated timber (CLT) and demonstrate dRMM’s commitment to environmentally smart modern construction. This is the first completed residential development for Lendlease in the UK using this form of construction, a prototype for the masterplan. Windows and balconies are large and of high quality. The polychromatic brickwork employed throughout the scheme incorporates expressive detail, articulating windows, walls and corners.

Trafalgar Place shows how the quality of life can be determined by the quality of composition and construction. As London tries to cope with and respond to its chronic housing shortage, the scheme demonstrates that positively designing the built environment at a local level is of key importance to city making.

Please go to the Trafalgar Place project page for more details and a full list of project team credits.