De Beauvoir Estate Masterplan London 2018–

Henley Halebrown and Stephen Taylor Architects are collaborating on two phases of new homes on the De Beauvoir Estate in Hackney that provide tangible benefits for the existing residents of the estate and for the wider neighbourhood.

Part of the Council’s plans to build affordable high-quality homes on underused land across the estate, this first phase of development includes 189 new homes, new workspace, and improvements to the surrounding public realm in collaboration with Vogt Landscape Architects. The scheme’s five new buildings – one on the canalside and four on Downham Road – work with the existing fabric of the estate to better define fronts and backs, clearly frame new courts and gardens, and strengthen the edges of the estate in order to bring overall clarity to the urban form.

Image 1

  • 9_1804_Overview.jpg
    Isometric view of the Estate, with the proposed Phase 1 and 2 interventions shown
  • DBeau013.jpg
    The existing estate, which consists of five tower blocks and a series of meandering lower-rise blocks of maisonettes, was designed and built by Burley Associates in the late 1960s on former industrial land on the north bank of the Regent’s Canal, to the south of the De Beauvoir Town Conservation Area
  • DBeau010.jpg
    Existing Estate: Fermain Court, looking east. Unlike many estates damaged by waves of maintenance and refurbishment, the architecture of the De Beauvoir Estate remains intact and unusually coherent, characterised by the consistent use of a dark brown brick, white-painted exposed concrete floor slabs, and white windows and yellow spandrel panels
  • BAL_04.jpg
    The proposed Balmes Road building from the existing Grow Your Own area.
  • 81DR.1.jpg
    The proposed 81 Downham Road building. The architects have sought to distil and improve on the most successful elements of the existing buildings, developing a ‘kit of parts’ that celebrates the original material, spatial and social ambitions for the estate
  • Estate-Existing1_1500.jpg
    Existing site plan
  • Estate-Proposed1_1500.jpg
    Proposed site plan
  • BAL_02.jpg
    A linear block faces onto the Regents Canal
  • 9_1804_Typologies.jpg
    Site plan: Existing and proposed typologies. These elements allow flexibility in creating four new types of buildings: courtyard blocks, corner blocks, terraced houses and a linear block
  • DRW_03.jpg
    Design elements include large communal entrance halls, generous circulation and private amenity areas, dual and triple-aspect apartments accessed from communal galleries
  • TRA.01.jpg
    Both the courtyard and corner blocks – which bring definition to the estate – offer commercial frontage to Downham Road
  • HER_02.jpg
    Double-height passageways reinforce an existing path that crosses the eastern end of the estate


  • Client: London Borough of Hackney
  • Architect: Henley Halebrown & Stephen Taylor Architects
  • Structural Engineer: Wilde Consulting
  • Services Engineer: XCO2
  • Planning Consultant: Tibbalds
  • Approved Inspector: LBH Building Control
  • Cost Consultant: Stace
  • Landscape Architect: Vogt
  • Daylight & Sunlight Consultant: Waldrams
  • Project Manager: Stace
  • Transport Consultant: Vectos
  • Photographer: Chris Dorley-Brown
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