We have won planning permission for a 35,000 sq ft mixed-use development for a prominent corner site within the Camberwell Green Conservation Area in South London. The project, a flagship for the wider regeneration of the area, includes 27 residential units, retail facilities, a members-only snooker club and a restaurant/wine bar.
Located on a major thoroughfare, the design brings much-needed life to a previously ‘blank’ stretch of streetscape and addresses the fundamental challenge of balancing the need for residential accommodation in busy metropolitan environments with the desire for security, privacy and secluded outdoor space.
The main façade on Camberwell New Road – a busy metropolitan thoroughfare – has an edginess that befits the energy and vibrancy of the neighbourhood. Whilst the existing snooker hall presents a blank featureless façade, the proposed building will be a bold composition of planes of London stock brickwork interspersed with planes of coloured ceramic bricks. The proportions, fenestration pattern and colour palette echo the Georgian facades of the building’s immediate neighbours and the Victorian architecture that is typical of the surrounding neighbourhood. The new snooker hall and wine bar open directly onto the main road creating an active, welcoming streetscape.
Entry to the residential units is on Camberwell Passage, a dilapidated but historically important pedestrian link between Camberwell New Road and Camberwell Green. This elevation establishes a mews-like scale, with first and second-floor providing passive surveillance and giving residents quiet amenity space. Residents enter their homes through a teardrop-shaped landscaped grassy courtyard planted with silver birch trees. This ‘inner’ elevation, where dwellings overlook the garden area, is altogether ‘softer’ than the public frontages, with private balconies and a lightweight timber trellis providing a framework for climbing plants to create a living, breathing façade.