LDA Design projects are dotted throughout the shortlist for this year’s New London Architecture (NLA) Awards.
Aberfeldy Village is a once-in-a-generation masterplan that stitches east and west Poplar together to bring about better health and improved life chances to people living in the area. This terrific new scheme which is full of hope is shortlisted for three awards: Public Space – Proposed, Masterplan and Area Strategies – Proposed and Mixed Use.
Aberfeldy’s site is a challenging one – a triangular-shaped urban island, cut off by major roads and the River Lea to the east. The environment feels hostile, which means that existing open space is under-used. Children are driven to school rather than walk the short journeys and there is little cycling.
In developing proposals for new public realm for Aberfeldy, we’ve worked closely with architectural practices Levitt Bernstein, ZCD and Morris and Company for Poplar HARCA and Ecoworld. The landscape-led masterplan responds to two years of intensive engagement and co-design with the community, taking a pioneering focus on young people. The project will deliver more than 1,600 homes of all tenures and nine out of ten residents strongly support the proposals.
Also, in the running for a Masterplan accolade is Albert Island, our project with architects Haworth Tompkins and Ashton Smith Associates to create a new piece of city and a well-connected, sustainable new industry hub on the Thames, to the east of City Airport in London’s Royal Docks.
Albert Island includes the first new shipyard on the Thames in 300 years. It will also restore the existing marina and strengthen employment opportunities in the area. Our public realm designs establish a new riverfront walk that links the communities to the north and south. Access to the foreshore will be improved and made all-inclusive, and the natural river environment will be restored. The ambition is to set a benchmark for design where the usual trappings of industrial estates – drab paving, tall security fences, surface car parking and minimal, low maintenance shrub planting – are nowhere to be seen.
Head north to King’s Cross and you’ll arrive at our next shortlisted project – the new primary offices for Meta, at 11-21 Canal Reach, shortlisted for Workplace – Built. This BREEAM Outstanding building by Bennetts Associates is crowned with an extraordinary biodiverse rooftop landscape by LDA Design. There are eight separate terraces with high ecological value, and over half the buildable rooftop area is richly planted including meadow and green/brown roof. The design reflects the site’s industrial heritage and includes species typically found alongside rail verges, as well as planting that will provide colour, texture and movement throughout the year.
Still in Camden is our road to park conversion, Alfred Place Gardens, in the running for Public Space – Built. Alfred Place was a commonplace city street, heavily parked with narrow pavements and nowhere to sit. Now it is a calming oasis, the perfect place to stop and take some time out and a great example of how we can radically change our cities for the better. It is part of West End Project, our award-winning work with Camden Council and the largest investment in public realm Camden has ever made. Alfred Place Gardens is the first new park in the area for 25 years.
And finally, it is great to see the restored Battersea Power Station, which opens in October shortlisted for Conservation. The Power Station is at the heart of a £9bn regeneration project made more special by its sociable new landscape. The regeneration has not only breathed new life into the Grade II* listed Power Station through meticulous restoration but also created an exciting new riverside neighbourhood. It is a 10-year project for LDA Design, and a labour of love. We hope it wins.
All finalists are eligible for the People’s Choice Award, and you can vote here.
Albert Island: Haworth Tompkins
Meta Office, 11-21 Canal Reach: Hufton + Crow
Alfred Place Gardens: Neil Speakman
Battersea Power Station: Charlie Round-Turner and Brendan Bell