Northwold Estate

Hackney, London

Number of existing homes : 580

Number of proposed new homes: 263


Built in the 1930s, it was extended in the 1950s, and in 2009 the estate stock-transferred to the Guinness Partnership housing association. In 2016 Guinness announced it was going to regenerate the estate, and subsequently planned to demolish and redevelop half the estate. In September 2016 residents invited Architects for Social Housing into their Love Northwold campaign. Over the next 9 months we worked with residents to try to save their homes.


Current status: SAVED


As a result of the campaign Guinness decided not to continue with a demolition scheme and is currently pursuing an infill and refurbishment option.


For more detailed articles on the campaign to save Northwold estate see here and here.

Existing buildings drawn and modelled in order to establish the potential for roof extensions

ASH’s design alternatives for infill development on disused land and roof extensions on top of existing blocks found space for 245 additional flats (of which 122 to be infill and 123 to be roof extensions – seen in the image adjacent), with the refurbishment of 18 disused flats, for a total of 843 homes.


This compared with the 846 properties proposed by TM Architects, who had been employed by the Guinness Partnership to push through the demolition of 154 existing homes and the construction of 420 new properties.


However, unlike their redevelopment proposals, ASH’s design proposals achieved this 42 per cent increase in the housing capacity of the estate without demolishing a single existing home or evicting a single one of the current residents.


This would allow the tenure of the new flats to be for social rent, rather than the market sale and affordable rent properties required to replace the 154 demolished homes.