Southwark Council selects dRMM-led team for Folgate Estate Redevelopment
dRMM, together with emerging South London-based practice Okra, have been selected to lead the net zero carbon redevelopment of the Former Folgate Estates site at 711 – 717 Old Kent Road.
The former Folgate Estates site is a key part of Southwark Council’s strategy to turn the Old Kent Road from an arterial route that people pass through, into a ‘destination in its own right’, by revitalising the high street, and creating new housing and light industrial spaces to better serve the local community. Southwark is leading on the regeneration of Old Kent Road, including up to 20,000 new homes, two new tube stations, three new parks and a community health hub located along a new greener belt linking Rotherhithe and Vauxhall.
The proposals for the former Folate Estates site create new pedestrian routes from Old Kent Road through to the future Livesey Park, breaking down city blocks and mellowing the pace of the area. An exciting mix of uses and typologies will create a vibrant yard space that is reflective of the employment needs of local businesses.
The scheme will provide circa 200 new tenure blind homes, with around 1,900m2 given over to retail, light industrial and commercial facilities. The Victorian shop units fronting the Old Kent Road will be reimagined and will complement the adjacent refurbishment project by MICA architects. A new working yard sits at the heart of the scheme and services workplace and light industrial uses. Okra & Soundings will lead a study of the existing business needs in the area to inform the type and variety of spaces to be delivered. A barn-like structure designed by Okra will house an array of industry, both old and new, in a playful building that offers the ability to house a range of commercial enterprises and provides activation to the street. A 2-storey plinth with further workplace and retail use provides activation to the street and forms the base of a residential tower.
Community involvement has been embedded in the project from the beginning, with an extensive programme of engagement with local businesses and residents. Southwark Council has made a commitment to be carbon neutral by 2030 and developments such as this play a key part in delivering that.
‘We are inspired by Southwark’s ambitious and progressive plans for the Old Kent Road. The Former Folgate Estates site is an important re-working of a key site on one of London’s most iconic arterial roads and an opportunity to create an identity and sense of place for the people who live there. dRMM’s ability to realise the potential of dense, and often constrained, urban sites has long been a recognisable part of our reputation. We relish this opportunity to work with Southwark, its residents and the other members of our design team to create a sustainable neighbourhood with true mixed use that serves existing and emerging communities alike.
Ben Stuart-Smith, Co-Founder of Okra added
“We’re aiming to create a building that has commercial influence and legacy from the existing area, we see this as a site that can showcase the incredible artisan industry that grows on the Old Kent Road, an extremely exciting time for the area.”
Cllr Helen Dennis, Cabinet Member for the Climate Emergency and Sustainable Development, Southwark Council, said
“The Folgate Estates site will deliver much needed housing, including many new council homes, alongside workspace for small and medium sized enterprises. This represents a big milestone in revitalising this stretch of Old Kent Road where we hope to restore some of its former high street character. dRMM will bring a wealth of experience to the project coupled with local knowledge from OKRA, a team of architects based on Old Kent Road”