HLM’s masterplan for the transformation of clarion’s William Sutton Estate in the heart of Chelsea promises to transform the quality of life across the Estate, as well as creating a bold new intervention of sensitive, high-quality contemporary architecture and transformational improved public realm. A new community centre will sit at the heart of the new street which improves the connectivity and legibility of the wider built environment and creates an important new place of inherent value to the William Sutton community and the wider public; while 3 new enclosed courtyard gardens will provide high quality amenity standards to all residents for the first time since the completion of the original estate in 1910.

Design Approach

The masterplan establishes a new human scale to the urban grain, breaking up the single area of the existing estate into three new blocks; while retaining the best existing buildings fronting Elystan Street and Chelsea Green.

Across the masterplan a new ‘shoulder’ height of five storeys reflects the local character, while at the hear of the scheme the community centre block provides a further storey height and all blocks feature set back roof levels.

The architectural idiom is highly contextual, each street frontage carefully responding to the rhythm and features of the existing streetscape; each block developed in its own contemporary evolution of the context.

The inherent design quality of the scheme and its contextual qualities can be seen in the architectural response on Cale Street where Block 1 faces the Grade 1 Listed Neo-Gothic St Luke’s Church. The 2-storey scale of key façade elements and rhythmical use of vertically in the elevational composition comes a clear echo of the elegant buttressing of the church; while the semi-submerged duplexes at street level are well related to the neighbouring house on Sydney Street.

All new homes are fully compliant with the London Plan space and amenity standards, providing transformational improvements to existing standards on the estate. 270 new homes are provided to replace existing homes on the estate, while 120 new market sale homes provide additional new housing and help fund the scheme.

Whilst unfortunately we were not unable to secure a Planning Consent for the scheme due to Planning Law Issues around Estate Re-generation, HLM’s masterplan for the Estate would undoubtedly have delivered a great, transformational outcome improving living standards for the residents. HLM were able to achieve full design sign-off with RBKC and its Architectural Appraisal Panel as well as receiving a strong letter of support for the design from the GLA.

Bob Beaumont, Director of Regeneration, Clarion Housing Group