Alice Hardy: Dalgarno Builds


London is a world city. It is simultaneously expanding and contracting, growing ever-outwards – and upwards – yet on the brink of divorce from the neighbouring continent. The next generation of designers must deliver fresh thinking to tackle issues that range from the scale of the street to global climate change. We asked pioneering graduates from the LSA how they’d adapt London to ensure that it is inclusive of its citizens, integrated with nature and fit for the future.

Harnessing the participatory power of its residents, this alternative masterplan for the Kensal Gasworks site in North Kensington stitches together a fragmented landscape to create a continuous green route and employs a new delivery method that balances communal infrastructure provision and self-build.

Delivery is planned in three phases, starting with a Green Walkway running to the north of the site and providing access across the railway to the new Kensal Gasworks development. The next phase is the construction of concrete party walls, which contain the services required for the finished homes, and a service plinth containing parking, bike stores and residents’ storage space. The final phase is delivered as a series of individual self-build projects within the parameters defined by the party walls.

Each party wall has a stacked chimney for natural ventilation and all bathrooms and kitchens plug into the service wall to allow for maximum flexibility in the layout of the rest of the units. The party walls also define all the communal areas and access for the housing block.