Erith Park is a transformational regeneration project in the London Borough of Bexley, which makes a significant contribution to the Mayor of London’s vision for new affordable housing in the capital.
 
Project
Larner Road, Erith
 
Client
Orbit Homes
 
Architect
 
Specialist Brickwork Contractor
 
Product(s)
Pembridge Red
Grove Orange Multi 
 
Location
Kent

Larner Road, Erith, Kent

The Erith project replaced an unloved series of 1970’s tower blocks, which were in a poor condition and ill suited to the needs of residents.
 
In consultation with residents and stakeholders, all agreed rebuilding was the preferred and most viable option for long-term sustainability. 
 
The first phase has delivered 343 new homes for affordable rent, shared ownership and outright sale and includes 60 of the original householders who have chosen to remain in the area. All tenure-types are designed to the same standards.
 
A new community centre and nursery as well as 279 further homes form Phase 2 of the master plan, which is currently under construction.

Larner Road, Erith, Kent

The scale of the development is significantly reduced in height from the former tower blocks while overall density remains the same.
 
Apartment buildings have been located to address the edge condition along the busy North End Road.
 
They are shaped to reduce their mass through a series of staggered roof terraces down towards the domestic scale of the contemporary terrace housing behind.
 
The development allowed for the physical and visual permeability of the site whilst also shielding against the strategic transport road to the east.
 
At the heart of the site, traditional street patterns of contemporary terraced houses form a continual residential frontage which is articulated in height by introducing a variation of 3 and 2 storey dwellings. 

Larner Road, Erith, Kent

The architecture is concerned with place making: providing residents with a permanent sense of belonging to somewhere of value.
 
The value resides within the design layouts and orientation of the rooms, apartments and amenity spaces, the relationship of houses and landscaping and the material choices.
 
Brick was a natural choice because of it warmth, texture, and association with domesticity.
 
During the consultation period, residents had expressed a desire to live in contemporary housing but not to be “experimented” upon, as they felt they had been with the 1970’s scheme.
 
Both the apartment buildings and terrace housing use a mixture of red and black brick, paired with areas of Parklex cladding.
 
The aim was to create a unifying palette that gave a strong sense of place and community while also maintaining a level of individuality.

Larner Road, Erith, Kent

Corbeling was utilised to add depth and detail to the brick facades. In a scheme of largely social housing it would have been easy to avoid this kind of additional expense but it was felt that this detailing should be incorporated as a mark of intent, to show that a real, long-term investment was being made in the community.
 
Erith Park has created a striking new gateway to Erith - setting a precedent for the area and encouraging community cohesion and social diversity.
 
It stands out amongst the surrounding tired housing stock and creates a new contemporary vernacular.

Larner Road, Erith, Kent

Original 1970’s tower block residential units

Larner Road, Erith, Kent

Drawing showing Phases 1 and 2 of the regeneration project

Larner Road, Erith, Kent

Site plan for Larner Road, Erith, Kent

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