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Bulrush Yards, Wandsworth, London, UK

Situated in Waltham Forest, the site is a former industrial brownfield site owned by the GLA with prominent frontage onto both Blackhorse Lane and Sutherland Road. It presents the opportunity to deliver a creative hub for artisan work spaces and the emerging town centre at Blackhorse Road, enhancing an already rich and diverse area with an established creative community.  The GLA set an ambitious agenda for the project to deliver a scheme with 100% affordable housing and a creative hub for artisan workspaces/small business space that compliments the burgeoning creative businesses in the area, maximising local job provision.

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Our proposal aims to create and deliver a local step change for the area: creating a new community which integrates 392 affordable new homes with workspaces for 150 businesses, with the potential for 450 new jobs to be created and support for 100 more through programmes and use of fabrication facilities.

Ground Floor Plan

The plan is organised to create four distinct public realm typologies forming a green link and a network of places.


The Square and the Garden form a clear and flat east-west green route through the site, responding to the two very different characters of Black Horse Lane and Sutherland Road. The Square - is the more civic of the two spaces allowing vehicular access into north part of the site. The Garden - is more informal of the two spaces and is layered with paving lawns, seating, bio-swales, play space and trees that form a canopy above.  


The Yards - to the north - a sequence of predominantly hard-landscaped interlocking spaces that integrates with the workspaces to the north.


The Mews - to the south west - designed as a staggered set of streets that open into small yard spaces with fine grain of workplaces and family homes.

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Public realm

Integration with the wider context: connecting Sutherland Road to Blackhorse Lane and beyond

Green infrastructure





Cross section through the yards and workspace HUB

We employed a multi-levelled approach to place-making that brings together housing and workplace into what we call a 'workspace neighbourhood'. The proposals contrast with the traditional city of perimeter blocks - as this creates limited diversity with only narrow public streets and small interior courtyards not conducive to creating the integration and diversity required for business growth.

Typical Floor Plan

Instead we propose a looser configuration of mixed-use blocks to:  Frame a finer grain of routes, connections and interconnected spaces, encourage movement through the site, deliver a key focal point for the community - The Hub, create more flexibility - accommodate workspaces on a number of floors adding richness and diversity to workspace, allow for a varied massing and height that improves the visual relationships amongst dwellings, communal areas and the wider urban realm and mediate between the different boundary conditions, maintaining appropriate setbacks to protect neighbouring amenity.

The scheme integrates with the wider context providing much needed access for Sutherland Road residents to the Tube network and greater north south and east west permeability so that it can become a true focus for the borough's creative quarter.

Roof Plan

Roof Plan

Flat typologies

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Focus has been given to maximising the qualities of the floor plan of each typology, providing generous, flexible spaces that meet or exceed all relevant space standards. Large, carefully positioned windows will characterise internal living spaces, maximising light and views whilst maintaining privacy.


All homes of two bedrooms or more will benefit from at least two aspects. The few single-aspect homes have only south, east or west outlooks. All homes have direct access to generous private balconies. Shared podium gardens and roof terraces incorporated into several of the buildings will provide convivial environments for social interaction, and attractive amenities which will appeal to residents.

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Bulrush Yards, Wandsworth, London, UK



Hadley Property Group, Network Homes, The Trampery


3,735 sqm of workspace, 392 affordable residential units, creche, gym, health care centre and 300 sqm of retail

Site area

1.72 ha

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