Dalston in East London is home to a diverse mix of people, from students to young professionals to families. We designed a building where all these people could thrive together, creating a blueprint for sustainable housing in tough urban environments.
Dalston’s first large-scale public space in over a century
Working with the London Development Agency (LDA) and Design for London, we obtained planning permission for a large-scale building with 250 residential units plus a library, document archive and shops.
Our original plans included a small pedestrianised area, but after consulting local people, it became clear that the community was lacking a larger outdoor space. We updated our plans, creating higher-density housing that made space for a welcoming, leafy piazza to the side of the building – Dalston’s first large-scale public space in over a century.
DALSTON SQUARE WAS FULLY OCCUPIED AS SOON AS IT WAS COMPLETED
The homes in Dalston Square range from one to five bedrooms. Fifty per cent of the homes are affordable housing. And unlike many other big housing developments, we prioritised families by including safe, enclosed terraces and private gardens.
Dalston Square was fully occupied as soon as it was completed because of the variety and high-quality of homes on offer.
Our designs took the area’s diverse surroundings into consideration. With a busy main road on one side and quiet streets on the other, it was important that Dalston Square become a central hub, rather than an obstruction, for the community.
The library and shops have created new meeting points for local people and as the new outdoor space has been chosen as one of the London Mayor’s new 100 squares for London, there will be lots of exciting activities and events throughout the year.
MANY OF THE HOMES HAVE ENCLOSED TERRACES AND PRIVATE GARDENS
With low-energy measures including combined heat and power and a biomass boiler built into its design, Dalston Square is a blueprint for low carbon architecture.
More importantly it has played an important role in Dalston’s continued regeneration, becoming a landmark for the area and bringing together a diverse mix of Londoners. If the building’s design were replicated across London, the city’s housing shortage could be eliminated.
Client: London Development Agency
Architecture & Engineering: Arup Associates and Arup
Completion Date:December 2011
Arup Specialist: Environmental, Planning, Project Management,Transport
Award submissions will be made early in 2013 following the completion of the entire scheme including Dalston Square.