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Innovative affordable homes opened

Published on 14 July 2016

The UK’s first ever ‘movable’ mixed-use development, providing affordable, temporary accommodation to homeless Lewisham families, new low- cost workspace, retail and community facilities was officially opened today by Sir Steve Bullock, Mayor of Lewisham, and James Murray, Deputy Mayor of London for Housing.

Located in a prominent high street in central Lewisham, PLACE/Ladywell is an innovative and ambitious meanwhile use of a vacant development site by Lewisham Council in the fight against homelessness and meet the high demand for housing in the borough.

PLACE/Ladywell has been awarded the Mayor’s Prize, in association with the Mayor of London, which celebrates the project that best creatively contributes to the capital’s economy at New London Architecture awards ceremony held on 7 July at The Guildhall, City of London.

The project will provide temporary accommodation for 24 homeless families who would otherwise have been housed in poorer quality, expensive bed and breakfast type accommodation.

The 24 two-bedroom homes that make up the residential part of PLACE/Ladywell are high quality. They’re 10% larger than London space standards and fitted with white goods, have large balconies and are very energy efficient with an anticipated energy bill of just £5 per week.

The ground floor consists of high quality units for commercial and community use and was made possible thanks to a £430,000 grant from the Mayor of London’s High Street Fund. It comprises a community café, film screening room and a dedicated enterprise hub called Dek Ladywell that will provide affordable, co-working space and small units for start-ups and microbusinesses. It forms part of Lewisham’s Dek network which includes Dek Catford and Dek Deptford and will support the growth of micro businesses in Lewisham`s town centres. 

PLACE/Ladywell was designed by award-winning architects Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners and builds on the success of their Y:Cube development. It was built using modular off-site construction technology resulting in a faster completion time, at a lower cost than a traditional build and was undertaken by SIG Building Systems Ltd.

The building is fully demountable and has been guaranteed for a 60-year lifespan, including 5 moves during that period.  It will remain on this site until the temporary planning permission expires in 2019, when the permanent regeneration of the area will start.

It is the first building of its kind to be used by a council to provide temporary housing. This model could provide part of the potential solution to the housing crisis that Lewisham and the rest of London face.

 

 

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