Woodberry Down in Hackney is a Council owned estate of some 2000 units, the majority of which are in very poor structural condition. For many years attempts have been made to develop a rebuilding approach that will allow for the homes to be rebuilt and at the same time to regenerate an impoverished area.
In 2004 Shepheard Epstein Hunter, working with Matrix Partnership urban designers, were appointed to produce an Urban Design Framework to encapsulate the vision that residents and the Council had for the area.
An initial resident consultation explored the options available and was then developed into three variations on the building approach which was re-tested in a second estate wide consultation. Following on from this the final Urban Design Framework emerged as a document that will set out the way forward for the rebuilding of the estate.
The Framework proposes a doubling of the number of homes with 500 being sold to help cross subsidise the rebuilding of the social rented units. These homes will also serve to change the social profile of the area and raise the aspirations of the local community.
The masterplan achieved planning consent in 2008, and the first phases are now on site.