Anthology Deptford Foundry
Rolfe Judd Architects
Comprising of a collection of 316 homes and 2,975sqm of commercial space, the design set out to create a vibrant new community, integrated and connected to the local neighbourhood. The site was originally a metal foundry formed in 1831 and it’s this rich, industrial heritage which has inspired the project name, architectural design and material choices. The development is made up of eight buildings and one tower (Cobalt Tower), with a collection of 1 – 3 bedroom homes, alongside studio and art spaces, in amongst calm and tranquil landscaped gardens.
Since its completion, the development has been shortlisted for a number of accolades including a New London Award in the ‘mixed-use‘ category and more recently, in the 2020 Housing Design Awards ‘completed’ category.
The historic nature of the site meant that it was important to the client, Lewisham Council, and architect that the new design was to be inspired by the industrial heritage, whilst improving transport links through the Deptford and New Cross areas. Once a thriving centre of design excellence and a production hub for metal goods, it was important that the rich history be preserved in this important part of London, by integrating the new development with the existing community. The architect aimed to create architecture that was not only deep rooted in its location, but that built on the existing context of established routes, thoroughfares, street patterns and vernacular.
Nestled between converging railway lines, Rolfe Judd Architects successfully designed a development that would repurpose a disused trading estate located between Arklow Road and Rolt Street in South East London. Their design incorporated not only the nine buildings, but a series of linked landscaped courtyards, new public squares and pedestrian and cycle routes.
In order to meet the client’s brief and achieve the design vision, Rolfe Judd took inspiration from historic photographs of the stacks of metal mould boxes that were once used at the foundry during the manufacturing process.
The lower units were designed as a series of contemporary warehouse buildings and have been completed using traditional building materials, brick and metal. Two visually different ‘marker’ builders have been completed alongside the new public squares. Influenced by the original foundry’s furnaces, corten coloured metal components add interesting details to the facades. To complement the metal components and balconies and provide a clean backdrop across the buildings, two different waterstruck bricks were selected – a grey multi brick and a buff white brick which were used to add detail around the windows alongside the metal panels. The materials selected combine to create an attractive development that pays homage to its industrial heritage.
Alongside its offering of additional housing and creative spaces, the Anthology development offers significant benefits to the local community and environment. The scheme is ‘car free’, providing only disabled spaces with electric charging points, with a car club and extensive resident and visitor cycle provisions in place.
The development boasts a centralised energy centre that can connect to the local Energy Recovery Facility, photovoltaic panels that create ‘clean’ electricity and mechanical ventilation and heat recovery systems across all homes. Biodiverse green roofs and sustainable urban drainage are all available, demonstrating the commitment to reduce consumption of non-renewable resources across the scheme.
With homes available to purchases via the ‘help to buy’ government scheme, the development has brought significant benefits to the community and will act as a catalyst for future regeneration within the wider area.