“sacrificing design quality in favour of basic numbers would be both dangerous and counterproductive. We all know that homes must be built to last, and that replacing them after just a couple of generations is not merely wasteful and environmentally unsustainable but can be deeply disturbing for the people affected. It would be a tragedy if a significant proportion of homes built in the future simply replace those that have failed to last.” Jo McAfferty, 2019

Many new homes being built in Camden lack character and human scale. Despite the lessons learnt from the construction of the post-war period which had resulted in scale-less anonymous blocks of flats, recently built flats in Camden can appear soulless and lacking in a sense of homeliness. Progressive housing in the 1980s and 90s, led by architects such as Ralph Erskine, introduced scale and architectural detail, colour and foliage into the design of homes, recognising the benefit for residents. These lessons seem to have been forgotten by Camden’s housing providers.

Agar Grove estate redevelopment
Hawley Wharf development
Abbey Road development

There is a lack of consideration given to the public realm and the setting of buildings, and consequently a lack of comfortable public space:

Abbey Road redevelopment- not very welcoming
Hawley Wharf development- very narrow pavement for such a big building

In order to get a good design there needs to be a good brief. In Islington, new homes are built to take into account existing trees:

The following examples provide better precedents for the new homes to be built in West Kentish Town- there is a higher degree of variation and articulation in the design, and more variety in the elevations and better relationship to the context.

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