London’s culture, heritage and famous landmarks are at the forefront of the capital’s appeal, but as the city rapidly evolves, it’s easy to forget what London looked like five years ago, let alone 50 or 100 years ago. Fortunately, there’s a cool new online tool to help you do just that…
All photography courtesy Berkeley Group
Our capital city is heading skywards. As towering new buildings appear seemingly overnight and London forges a reputation as a world leader in design and architecture, it’s more important than ever that we celebrate our heritage.
Housebuilder, the Berkeley Group, is doing just that, launching a new campaign called Patchwork London. Delving into the backstory of the city, it takes a look at some of the city’s key areas of regeneration, revealing exactly how much change they have undergone throughout the years.
The changing face of the sprawling metropolis has seen some spectacular development projects, and a further £20 million has been allocated to ‘breathe new life’ in to the city through the London Regeneration Fund.
Exploring iconic regeneration projects such as the Olympic Park, Battersea Power Station, King’s Cross and London Docklands, as well as upcoming projects, Patchwork London takes you on a journey of major change and transformation.
Take a peek at some of the projects highlighted below…
King’s Cross Station
Situated in the borough of Camden, King’s Cross station has quite a history – it has even been proposed as the location of the battle between Queen Boudicca and Roman soldiers, with some believing that her final resting place is under Platform 9 in the station.
King’s Cross station has undergone extensive regeneration over the years, including the extension of the now-gleaming St Pancras Station to accommodate the Eurostar, which celebrated its 10th anniversary of relocating to St Pancras International in November 2017.
Some £2.5 billion has been invested into the area and transport infrastructure, and according to an independent study, the regeneration of the major London station and surrounding area has created 10,000 jobs and added £600 million in annual value to the economy.
The Empire Cinema in Ealing town centre, designed by John Stanley Beard in a quasi-Egyptian style, was built in 1934. The cinema closed in 2008 and was largely demolished.
St George at Berkeley Group bought Land Securities’ £100 million Ealing Filmworks scheme in 2016 and, the new Filmworks development, once built, will reference the original Art Deco style and retain the façade of the building, including the columns and cast-iron detailing.
When it’s open, Filmworks in Ealing will include over 200 homes centred around an open piazza, an eight-screen Picturehouse cinema and a variety of restaurants, community facilities and shops including Planet Organic and Vapiano.
All of London’s docks were closed between 1960 and 1980 when the port industry went into decline, leaving an eight square mile area of derelict land in the east and south east of the city.
Construction began on Canary Wharf, which was created by a Canadian property tycoon who had developed a similar project in New York City, in 1988, and One Canada Square, Britain’s tallest building at the time, emerged from the docks in 1990.
It’s reported that the population of London Docklands has more than doubled over the last 30 years and its revival has had a huge positive impact on areas such as Deptford and Greenwich, making them popular commuting destinations and key areas for redevelopment.
Kidbrooke Village, Greenwich
During 1961, the Royal Flying Corps established a military base close to the station in Kidbrooke. This RAF continued to use this land until 1965, when the land was released to the Greater London Council (GLC).
Nine years later the construction of the Ferrier Estate began, inspired by the modern Brutalist style of the time, but the estate slipped into social decline in the 1970s because the complicated design of the estate made it difficult to police.
In 2007, Berkeley agreed a partnership with Greenwich Council and the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) to create a new vision for the area – Kidbrooke Village.
Located next to Blackheath in the Royal Borough of Greenwich, the residential development is one of the biggest in London. With four neighbourhoods and 86 acres of open parkland (the waterways at Cator Park are wildlife havens protected by the London Wildlife Trust), the project is due to be fully completed in 2030 at an estimated cost of £1 billion.
Trent Park, Enfield
Trent Park in Enfield was used during WWII as a site for MI9 to gather British intelligence and hold captured German soldiers. The grounds date back to the 14th century and were also known to be one of Henry VI’s hunting grounds.
Set within 413 acres of parkland with woodland, lakes, and wildlife, Berkeley Group is now building a mix of new build and restored homes as part of the regeneration of the park, the current phase of which is due to be completed at the end of 2019.
Working with the Trent Park Museum Trust, Berkeley Group is also creating a museum within the Mansion House. Other facilities onsite for residents to use will include a shuttle bus to Oakwood station, gym, outdoor swimming pool and tennis courts.
For more on London’s heritage and new developments, check out the Patchwork London tool here
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