The Ebury Bridge Estate is transition. Many residents have already been decanted as the Estate undergoes phased demolition and redevelopment to provide 750 new homes, including 100% re-provision of council homes and a right of return for all existing residents.
To negotiate this period of change, a need for a continuous meeting place for residents old and new throughout the redevelopment was identified. Ebury Edge is a collection of temporary buildings which house affordable workspaces and a cafe, give the Estate a lively street presence, and shelter an open courtyard and community space at the rear.
Along the street front, two storeys of workspace units are arranged in a colourful timber-clad terrace, while the cafe and community centre are housed in a distinct single storey volume receding into the depth of the site. Workspaces are sized to provide an affordable foothold for small local businesses, with a variety of micro-shop fronts along the street and larger offices upstairs. The community hall has been carefully designed in response to resident consultation, sharing a core with the cafe to allow flexibility for events and functions to flow between spaces and out into the rear courtyard. As well as providing a much-needed social space for the estate, the courtyard provides external seating for the cafe, and connects into an existing green space.
Structures make use of accessible and widely available timber framing techniques, creatively assembled to allow elements of the structure to be demounted and re-assembled elsewhere once the site comes forward for development in five years’ time. The lightweight structure, including a suspended timber ground floor, requires minimal foundations, reducing the embodied energy of the scheme.
The entire assemblage is spanned by a planted scaffold, which will drape the workspace building with greenery and embed community growing at the heart of the scheme. An ornamental tower acts as a beacon for the development, asserting its civic status and honouring residents’ wish to invite new neighbours into the Estate.