Central Somers Town Masterplan
- Categories Urban & Landscape
- Clients London Borough of Camden
- Completion 2023
- Size 2.2 hectares
- Budget £80m
- Project Team Deborah Saunt, Ellen Hadden, Molly Judge, Maeve Dolan, Nichola Ibbotson
London Planning Awards 2018
Caught between the railway tracks of Euston and St. Pancras stations, Somers Town is one of only a few substantial areas of publicly-owned land in Central London. As such it presents a unique opportunity to explore innovative models to deliver much-needed homes and public amenity for a neighbourhood with many needs.
The single ownership of the buildings, and also the public realm around them, allowed the London Borough of Camden to develop an ambitious place-making strategy using a self-funding development framework to enable delivery. The commission comprises a new primary school, community facilities, affordable homes and a world-class public park —worthy of the site’s significance — as well as a proportion of private housing.
Led by DSDHA, the Masterplan was devised via an innovative collaborative process, using landscape and public realm as the primary drivers around which housing was designed — in opposition to the prevailing trend towards maximising build yields at all costs. Rather than developing massing criteria to guide the development of each plot, DSDHA curated a sophisticated dialogue between the practitioners involved, thus allowing creativity to flourish to promote a rich mix of architecture and landscape that mediate seamlessly between the scale of intimacy and infrastructure.
- Collaborators Todd Longstaffe-Gowan, Studio Dekka, AKT 11, Atelier Ten, Turley, dRMM Architects, Hayhurst & Co., Duggan Morris Architects, Adam Khan Architects