Kayla Friedman

Kayla Friedman

Cambridge, GB


New Union Wharf - Competition Winner

New Union Wharf is a 1970’s estate, constructed using concrete frame with brick infill, on the east shore of the Isle of Dogs. Built and managed by East Thames the fabric had identifiable problems. East Thames successfully applied to the Housing Corporation to opt out of the government statutory ‘Decent Homes’ program of basic refurbishment on the basis that there was development potential. Levitt Bernstein were commissioned in Autumn 2007 to undertake an option appraisal study into future development paths for this estate. The Study sought to test three strategies – Decent Homes, partial redevelopment, and full redevelopment. This formed the basis of a design competition for full redevelopment which Levitt Bernstein won.

However, lessons on 'how not to run a competition' led to major disagreements between East Thames and the residents, and a new scheme with new architects had to be drawn up.  It's a shame because I think our vision was grounded in a real care and concern for both the residents and the place, but we needed to work with the residents in order to realize this vision.  They felt that something frightening was being imposed on them that they didn't understand.  Therefore, this project becomes yet another unrealized vision, destined to the dusty corridors of memory.

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Status: Competition Entry
My Role: Principle Urban Designer
Additional Credits: Levitt Bernstein Associates