Vanbrugh Park, London, UK
Chamberlin, Powell, Bon
Vanbrugh Park Estate is set on seven acres with a mixture of dwelling types: an eight-storey tower block containing 64 flats, low-rise terraced houses, and maisonettes arranged over garages.
Residents are a mixture of owners and tenants, bringing a diverse group of people together. Some of the first ever residents and their descendants still live here, a testament to the positive community – something that was originally intended by the architects.
Suffragette Emily Davison was born at Roxburgh House, 13 Vanbrugh Park Road West in 1872, where the estate now sits. Emily was known as one of the most passionate fighters of her cause for a woman’s right to vote.
Like many parts of London, the area was bombed in the Second World War. The Borough of Greenwich commissioned the scheme to build Vanbrugh Park Estate in the late fifties, requesting a mixture of dwellings, and one of two sketches proposed by Chamberlin, Powell and Bon came to fruition. Simple, but functional materials were used to save on costs, like the breeze-block exterior; this was so that more could be spent on the communal areas such as landscaping. Careful consideration was taken by the architects to respect the surrounding areas, including the blind-wall terraces facing the Heath; it was meant to reflect Greenwich Park’s own wall using similar brickwork.