Council housing: it's back, it's booming - and this time it's beautiful \

Oliver Wainwright writes a complimentary article about the brightest and best new council-led housing, and features our project Agar Grove for Camden Council.

There may no longer be a borough architect, but Camden has tried to put design at the forefront, holding competitions for each site and involving residents in selecting the winning architects and developing their schemes.

The biggest project of all is at Agar Grove, where a maligned 1960s estate is being overhauled by Hawkins\Brown and Mae architects, in a long-term scheme that will see almost 500 new homes built to low-energy Passivhaus standards, responding to the crippling fuel poverty faced by many residents. The masterplan aims to reconfigure the site with streets and squares, introducing new routes through the currently inward-looking estate, including rows of maisonettes by Mae that take inspiration from the split-section layout of Neave Brown’s beloved Fleet Road estate.

Ferdinand Daludado, who recently moved into one of the first new blocks, clad in dark purplish brick, couldn’t be more pleased with his airy flat at the top of the building, where he has transformed his big south-facing balcony into a lush hanging garden.

“It is so much bigger and brighter than my previous flat on the estate. And it only has one radiator, which I barely need to turn on in winter.”

Ferdinand Daludado Resident of Agar Grove

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