We were delighted to be invited by the London Community Land Trust and Citizens UK, to participate in their 'Pick an Architect' workshop. The aim of the event was to allow three architecture practices to meet with members of Lewisham Citizens and local residents, to discuss and consult on the potential development of a garage site into new affordable housing on a Brasted Close, a Lewisham local authority housing estate. The Citizens and residents will choose the architect to continue working with them throughout the project.
The day started with an introduction to the work of London CLT, and noted the hard work put in by the Lewisham Citizens in order to bring the project to this stage, and come closer to the vision of providing genuinely affordable housing in Lewisham. We began with a session in the Grove Centre on Jews Walk, and through conversations and questions we learnt about and discussed some of the hopes and fears of the Citizens and residents in regards to the development. Issues and needs relating to access, building appearance, continuing community engagement, greenery, child-friendly space and safety came to the fore, as we got to know the community and individuals through their stories.
Next we hot-footed it to Brasted Close, to set up our tables and our ongoing ideas map. We wanted to engage with as many residents as possible, in order to make sure the views of the local community, were heard, understood, discussed and recorded.
We had a brilliant day with the residents of Brasted Close and Carlton Terrace, the London CLT and Lewisham Citizens. We learnt a huge amount, talked about solutions, and discussed how together we can ensure this project remains true to its ambition. With the support of the community this development has the potential to be a flagship for genuinely affordable housing within London, which can at the same time improve and rejuvenate the surrounding areas, improving things for everyone.