The launch of the competition is twelve months on from when Peabody and Lendlease created the 50:50 Thamesmead Waterfront Joint Venture to plan and deliver this opportunity, which will be the largest in Peabody’s 158-year history.
With significant scale and a largely undeveloped nature, Thamesmead Waterfront has the potential to tackle many pressing challenges - including the capacity to plan for and accommodate significant, sustainable, long-term economic growth and housing in a post-pandemic future.
The Joint Venture partnership has developed a set of guiding principles and an emerging shared vision for the site, and has published a competition brief at www.thamesmead-waterfront.co.uk. Teams expressing an interest will need to demonstrate the ability to understand, nurture and develop the Joint Venture vision, which embraces 5 principles:
Natural living - Using and enhancing the existing landscape to create a unique natural destination for Thamesmead, London and the South-East - providing a place where people can unwind and find space to enjoy the natural world.
A city neighbourhood - Providing the social infrastructure and workplaces to enable a resilient mixed-use neighbourhood with the choice, variety and opportunities of the best parts of London and the South-East.
Better connections - Transforming connectivity into central London, including use of the river; connecting into the ‘Go East’ production corridor; and creating a legible, connected local network across Thamesmead.
A safe, stable and sustainable community - Creating a place that people are proud of, through community ownership and participation. A place where you know your neighbours and your neighbourhood, where you feel safe and healthy. A place that is founded on robust stewardship and long-term viability.
Inclusive and affordable for all - Making affordable but high-quality homes, workplaces and neighbourhoods, for a diverse community of people and businesses, creating jobs and opportunities for all.
Peabody Executive Director Thamesmead, John Lewis, said “This is a really exciting opportunity for us all to reflect on some really important questions for how we’ll want to live in the future. In a post-pandemic world, the project can be a catalyst to making a step change in how we want and need places to be. With the right transport interventions, Thamesmead Waterfront can drive our economic recovery; creating new jobs, homes, and businesses within a thriving and sustainable new town.”
Bek Seeley, Managing Director of Development for Lendlease in Europe, said: “We are looking to tap into imaginative minds from the UK and around the world as we plan the town of tomorrow for Thamesmead, and we’re looking forward to seeing the collaborations and creativity this competition will inspire. It is an opportunity for a wide range of individuals and organisations to think big and bold about what the future of our cities might be, and how Thamesmead Waterfront can lead in making that vision a reality”.
The first stage of the competition is an open call, which will invite up to ten collaborative teams to meet with the Joint Venture on the basis of their expressions of interest. These should include an illustrated think piece and other materials to demonstrate the team’s approach to design, their skills, visionary thinking, expertise and commitment to diversity and the involvement of smaller practices.
The project team will then shortlist no more than five teams to progress to Stage two in December - with a final winner to be selected in March 2021.
The competition will be run by Colander Associates. For more information and to see the detailed brief please visit: https://www.colander.co.uk/architectural-competitions
Thamesmead is a town in South-East London and is the same size as central London – The area measures around 760 hectares, with Peabody – one of London’s oldest and largest housing associations - owning around 65% of the land. It is home to 45,000 people and the homes are spread broadly across nine neighbourhoods. Development spans four decades, ranging from early modernist 1960s concrete homes in the South Thamesmead estate to more traditional suburban housing across the north and west of the town, built predominately in the 1980s and 1990s. Its rich landscape includes 75 hectares of greenways, pocket parks and other accessible green space, 7km of canals, five lakes, 5km of river frontage and 30,000 trees. It is a remarkable place. More than 50 years after the first homes were completed in 1968, Peabody’s vision is that Thamesmead will finally realise its potential as London’s new town. To achieve it we are going to ensure that new homes are intelligently designed, and older homes well maintained. Neighbourhoods will be expertly managed, with extensive public realm assets, and shops and leisure facilities for the local community and visitors. The area will feel safe and secure, with good schools and things for young people to do. The area’s green spaces, waterways and lakes will be at the heart of everyday life – yet thanks to the coming transport improvements will be just 20 minutes away from the West End. As the largest and most significant development opportunity within Thamesmead, Thamesmead Waterfront is a key and essential component in the long-term process of change within the town. The Thamesmead Waterfront Joint Venture is a 50/50 Joint Venture partnership between Peabody and international property and investment group, Lendlease. The Joint Venture was formally incorporated in October 2019, to masterplan and deliver Thamesmead Waterfront over the next 30 years. It is a unique partnership between one of the oldest and most prestigious housing associations and an industry leader in designing and building sustainable, innovative and thriving places. The partnership shares an aligned overarching vision and values, and a common focus on placemaking, long-term stewardship and socio-economic betterment, that will support long-term sustainable outcomes. Further information about the Joint Venture and the project is available at http://www.thamesmead-waterfront.co.uk