Last edited 07 Nov 2016

Lewisham Ladywell Temporary Housing

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In January 2015, Lewisham Council unveiled plans for an innovative and flexible housing development devised in collaboration with Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners (RSHP). The development is a response to the ongoing demand for housing in the Borough, exploring a short-term use for the site of the former Ladywell Leisure Centre building, which was demolished in 2014.

The project creates a deployable, 2,000 m2 development using a volumetric construction method that provides high-quality, energy-efficient accommodation. The system can be built faster and cheaper than traditional methods, and the finished structure is fully-demountable, meaning it can be used over a number of years in different locations.

Residential units provide homes for local people in housing need, whilst ground-floor non-residential units are available for community and business use. All units exceed the current space standard requirements by 10%, helping the Council meet an existing shortfall in high-quality temporary and two-bed accommodation.

Ivan Harbour, Partner at RSHP, said the project: “ ..offers a blueprint to meet a wide range of urban housing needs. By delivering well-designed, flexible and sustainable accommodation using a quick and cost-effective volumetric technology, we hope to change the way we think about house building in the future.”

Sir Steve Bullock, Mayor of Lewisham, said: “This scheme may offer a solution to an all too common problem that plagues many development sites, which often sit unused while complex regeneration plans are put together. When we have thousands of people on our housing waiting list and are paying out for expensive bed and breakfast stays - that is a terrible waste. We are also showing with this partnership with Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners that we can achieve real quality and value for money.”

On 7 July 2016, the project won the Mayor's Prize and the Temporary building category at the New London Architecture awards.

The scheme was formally launched on 14 July 2016, when Bullock described it as a “...great example of how we can use innovation to respond to this very real and growing challenge.”

Ivan Harbour added, “This type of development can go up to 13 storeys and our only real constraint is the volume you can get on the back of a truck and get round the country. By using offsite construction you can can ship all the material and assemble it locally. It's all about the flexibility of people.”

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