Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Award-Winning Homes for Hackney Locals; First-Time Buyers Can Live by a Beautiful Park and Close to Villagey Stoke Newington, Discovers Ruth Bloomfield

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Award-Winning Homes for Hackney Locals; First-Time Buyers Can Live by a Beautiful Park and Close to Villagey Stoke Newington, Discovers Ruth Bloomfield

Article excerpt

Byline: Ruth Bloomfield

HACKNEY'S Kings Crescent of the Nineties was a forbidding sort of place to live, but today it is seen as a model for successful council estate regeneration so much so that London Mayor Sadiq Khan donned hard hat and tabard to visit last year during a crucial pre-election interview on BBC1's Sunday Politics. Khan praised the ongoing project to renovate and regenerate the crumbling old estate, creating almost 800 modern homes.

Its dismal concrete towers have been blown away literally, with dynamite and replaced with lower-rise blocks designed around courtyard gardens.

Kings Crescent has been redesigned by the award-winning Karakusevic Carson Architects, very much the go-to practice nowadays for estate regeneration. Its approach is refreshingly ungimmicky with blocks set around courtyards and proper, defined streets that stitch the previously marooned estate into the surrounding area. Landscaped gardens are set within the courtyards and between the blocks, and the materials used are unfussy but quality: solid brick and timber.

SOCIAL MIX Inside, the flats are simple, with white gloss kitchens, wood floors and either a private terrace or balcony.

Another crucial factor in a successful estate regeneration is creating a mix of different kinds of people: old, young, rich, poor, singles and families. Kings Crescent will still contain social housing, as well as private homes for sale. And, as a middle ground, there will be shared-ownership properties aimed at first-time buyers priced out of Hackney's housing ladder, but too well off to qualify for local authority housing. This month, Currell (currell.com) has launched 36 shared-ownership flats priced from less than PS100,000, which will be ready to move into later this year.

The first thing to say about the rebooted Kings Crescent is that its location is amazing. …

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