The Moorings is the name of the northernmost part of Thamesmead, the last phase of an ambitious housing project advanced by the GLC as a slum-clearing measure from the 1960s. A unique typology of the housing is a response to a modernist town planning agenda and the particular constraints of the site which extends across the Plumstead and Erith Marshes. The urban planning of the area presents a convoluted image. Patches of land in ambiguous ownership, unloved communal stairwells, poor wayfinding and inadequate lighting impact on residents’ quality of life. Under the heading “From Street to Doorstep,” Gallions Housing Association and the Architecture Foundation launched an architecture competition to identify creative solutions to these challenges. JKA were selected and worked with residents on a four-tiered strategy to encourage customization of house facades by residents, improved wayfinding to communal areas and in-fill development to improve overlooking of public space. We are hoping that a project centred around the principle of gradual change will bring lasting and sustainable improvements that are well-embedded in the local community.
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