The Deptford Project
In summer 2008 we installed a 1960s commuter train carriage into a site next to Deptford High Street train station in south east London. We put it there to kickstart a £42m mixed-use PPP regeneration scheme with the London Borough of Lewisham. In January 2006 the Mayor and Cabinet of the London Borough of Lewisham announced our selection from a field of 50 as their chosen developer of a scheme to regenerate this significant part of Deptford town centre. We are working on a building which will contain new homes and workspaces situated next to the historic carriage ramp.
The ramp, first used in 1836 as a means for carriages to reach the station, is the oldest surviving railway structure in London. It is set to benefit from the sensitive restoration, making it once more a focal point for the area. The site will be transformed into a lively and safe environment that will include retail units, a restaurant and a landscaped public piazza and we worked with Ash Sakula Architects, Pollard Thomas Edwards Architects and Farrer Huxley Associates on these aspects of the scheme.
On the 8th March 2012 the London Borough of Lewisham resolved to grant planning consent for The Deptford Project and the section 106 agreement was signed shortly afterwards.
In January 2014 we re-located the train carriage to another Cathedral site so that work could begin on the high street area. With construction starting, the exciting new community will take shape behind the hoardings.
The Deptford Project Café became a popular place with Deptford locals. Lovingly restored by neighbourhood craftsmen and run by a local group, the café acted as a creative hub for the community and as the focal point for The Deptford Project. It has been featured in media all over the world and was hailed as London’s grooviest new café. Vogue magazine included The Deptford Project Café in their top 50 favourite things in London. It’s hoped the carriage can return once the scheme is complete.
We continued our placemaking by opening up the abandoned arches under the carriage ramp and letting them on a temporary basis to local craftspeople. They built a vibrant community there, coming together regularly to host public events.
In Autumn 2010 Jamie Oliver visited the site with a film crew to shoot an episode of a new series which was aired on Channel Four at the end of 2011.
The café became the hub for a programme of arts and culture on the site that made use of it while the design and consultation process continued. We installed an outdoor cinema in summer 2010 and 2011 and partnered with Silent Cinema to host movie seasons. The cinema was designed and built by the craftspeople on site.
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