As part of their 150 year celebrations, Peabody held a design competition to develop a proposal for an exemplar housing development of approximately 150 affordable and market homes on the four-acre site of the old Plaistow Hospital in London’s East End. Ash Sakula’s sixth-placed entry is among those exhibited at the NLA at London’s Building Centre between 10 May and 9 June 2012.
Like all Ash Sakula projects, our proposal took the occupants’ experience as its starting point. We wrote:
“Of all the changes Londoners have undergone over the last 150 years, arguably the most profound is the decline of the kinship structures once routinely provided by families, friends and neighbours. The ‘social enjoyment’ George Peabody had in mind in 1862 was often to be found within each dwelling. By contrast today we tend to look beyond the home for a sense of connection. Some of what is missing is filled by digital connectivity, the web, TV, social networking, but people are also looking for a greater sense of purpose in their lives, a sense of place in their locality, and a sense of connection to their community. Inspired among other things by Lubetkin, Chambord, Hackney City Farm and London mews typologies, our proposal for this lovely site is to make a place that actively hosts its inhabitants and encourages them to belong. It does this by connecting to the wider web of the city while also providing a distinctive village-scale environment where people of all ages, whether Peabody people or not, can hang out, make friends and get involved.”
Our award-winning 2005 homes for Peabody in Silvertown can be seen here.