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Barking

Barking

2016 - Ongoing

We're restoring a sense of coherence and connection across the town centre, and providing high-density, multi-layered, mixed-use adjacent to a transport hub.

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We're restoring a sense of coherence and connection across the town centre, and providing high-density, multi-layered, mixed-use adjacent to a transport hub.
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Strategy

With great transport connections to central London, Barking is set to become east London’s new culture and retail hub. In 2016 we were fortunate enough to win two significant commissions in high-profile locations from different clients, and we welcomed the opportunity to offer an overarching strategic vision for the town.

Location:
London, UK
Client:
Vicarage Field
Londonewcastle
Benson Elliot
Barking 360
Swan NU Living
Role:
Vicarage Field - Urban Designer, Architect and Landscape Architect. Barking 360 - Architect and Landscape Architect
Status:
Vicarage Field - Detailed design. Barking 360 - On site.
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Vicarage Field

For the long narrow site next to the station, owned by developers Nu Living (part of Swan Housing) and now called Barking 360, others had come up with wall-like structures that would dominate the skyline and create a barrier between the station and the area beyond. Instead, we offered a fresh perspective which opened up the site with five interlocking cylindrical forms. Our scheme was welcomed, both by the planners and the community.

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Barking 360
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Barking 360

At Vicarage Field, a five-acre site between Barking Station and the town’s civic hub, we were working with fund managers Benson Elliot and developers Londonewcastle. This site was also the subject of a previous failed planning application and was where the outdated and monocultural 1960s shopping centre stood.

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Vicarage Field - Current site
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Vicarage Field

Our strategy here was to capitalise on the potential of the site through a multi-layered, mixed-use landscape which would link back to the surrounding streets and, critically, allow life to flow back into the existing high street. We were granted planning consent in January 2017.

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Vicarage Field

Specificity

At Barking 360 we’re delivering high-density housing with a high proportion of affordable homes. It’s a tricky site and we’ve worked within significant cost constraints, but our bespoke and complex design has created unexpected value and individuality.

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Barking 360
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These circular buildings are designed with straight panels between the exaggerated curves of the balconies, and this aggregated arrangement of connected drums combines efficiency of volume with natural dual-aspect orientations for all the homes. The curves provide another advantage: they allow wind to flow easily through the site and reduce the eddies and wind tunnels often found at the foot of tall buildings.

At the centre of Vicarage Field, a cluster of curved buildings on sculptural legs rises to a height of 36 storeys. Retail and leisure spaces weave in and out of their base, and the upper floors feel connected with the street below.

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Vicarage Field
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The gentle curves create a sense of movement, and at the edge of Vicarage Field the low-rise buildings adopt the scale and rhythm of the existing streets and respond to the nearby Conservation Area and listed buildings.

Two pedestrian routes gently meander through the whole site, coming together to create Vicarage Square, a multi-purpose open space. In the field-like pattern of our design, we’ve been inspired by the history of the area – it was once agricultural land associated with the local vicarage.

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Vicarage Field
We are now working on the detailed design for phase 1 of Vicarage Field.
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Vicarage Field - Phase 1

Sustainability

We want to nurture a ‘grow your own’ philosophy and create a sense of participation and ownership, and throughout Vicarage Field there’ll be edible planting, gardens and rainwater harvesting – with the water collected being used for allotments and community spaces.

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Vicarage Field

Semi-protected paths and sheltered outdoor areas will make walking an easy and enjoyable way of getting around, whatever the weather.

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Vicarage Field
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At Barking 360, too, there’ll be greenery throughout; the homes all have balconies and communal roof gardens, with decked walkways, stepped features, timber seating and raised planters.
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Barking 360
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Barking 360
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By restoring a sense of coherence, movement and connection across the town, we’re actively encouraging people out of their cars. And by providing high-density homes close to a transport hub, we’re doing everything we can to promote the use of public transport.

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Vicarage Field