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Faircharm Estate, Deptford

The Faircharm Estate is located on Deptford Creek at the crossing of the footway, railway and Docklands Light Railway that slide between historic Greenwich and busy, diverse Deptford.

The creek is a ever-changing rift where unique ecology and energetic creative practice find a place among the old cranes, timber groynes, river mud and relentless tidal patterns.

Our client, Workspace, upgraded the light industrial units on the site to improve accommodation for the creative industry which already flourishes here, while London & Quadrant developed part of the site for high-rise residential use. The two uses sit well within a series of small courtyards. To complement the industrial setting, we used a palette of tough functional materials such as concrete and timber sleepers, clay setts and crushed aggregate.

There is little formal planting, except for a small grove of trees and some trees and shrubs in large concrete planters. However the constraint of permanent maintenance access to the DLR which sweeps over the corner of the site gave rise to the idea of creating the ideal conditions for colonising ruderal vegetation. Hard surfaces gradually gave way to piles of crushes aggregate where windblown seeds of local flora could take hold, undeterred by the occasional vehicle use. This was extended to brown roofs which are the ideal habitat for the endangered city-loving Redstart.