The Distillery Apartments, Deptford - Under Construction



The Seager Distillery tower and apartments in Deptford are finally under construction. The site had lain dormant for a couple of years, since demolition of most of the previous collection of buildings. Steelwork has begun and a tower crane has been erected.

The development is expected to be completed in 2011 and will eventually include an 82m-tall residential tower, a crescent-shaped residential building that steps down as it circles around the site, a café, gym, retail and an art gallery.

Some of the original building will be death-masked and the rest of the development will create a courtyard, with most of the ground-level retail facing inwards towards a new public space, rather than outwards towards Deptford Bridge, an approach which has been criticised by CABE, who say:

"We are not convinced that the internal courtyard will become a well animated public space. We feel that the public focus may be best placed on the external spaces where there is more foot fall. This would help provide more activity on the street and improve the overall public realm of the Brookmill Road and Deptford Broadway intersection. Our view remains that the internal space would be of most value used as a private courtyard for residents."

However, on that particular stretch of road, there is very little footfall, so a courtyard shielded from the traffic and open to the public, might after all have the best chance of success, especially as CABE also notes:

“The increased permeability that the scheme now provides with pedestrian routes through the crescent block at ground floor level is welcome. This will provide strong connections for residents between the courtyard space and adjacent open space, and playground. We are also pleased to note the attention paid to the public realm outside the development, particularly in relation to the riverside.”

21 comments:

Anonymous said...

Seems to be non stop residential building in that area (Bankers are back with their bonuses?). Albeit it being a rather general remark, I hope that the transport infrastructure is also being upgraded with the new population density.

Regarding the designs, they always look smart from an artist pen. Not sure if I will be so keen when they build it tho.

Anonymous said...

I dunno, I think Canary Wharf is an example of how an area can look smart even after the design and artists impression stage.

Richard Elliot said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Richard Elliot said...

I view this as a good thing.

The DLR is being upgraded to three carriage trains and Deptford railway station isn't that far away so transport shouldn't be an issue.

The regeneration of Deptford will be given a boost. And it is a sign that the gentrification of Greenwich is edging towards St Johns and Brockley.

Anonymous said...

Most of the apartments will be unaffordable to most people,Having said that what a change from Deptford 20 years ago

patrick1971 said...

Interesting that this is finally happening. When I first moved into New Cross in 1999 there were plans on the drawing board but they were rejected. If memory serves me correctly it was going to be three large towers and no public space; the facilities in the development were only going to be open to those who lived there. So it looks as if this is a huge improvement on that, although I wonder why a tower block is needed for every development. Clearly architects have the same size issues as car drivers.

Brockley Nick said...

Architects do what developers tell them. Developers seek to maximise profit. Planning authorities set the restrictions on what developers can apply to do and guide them on what they think the area needs. Planners at london borough level are striving to meet the wider strategic goals of the london plan. The london plan calls for greater density and more homes to meet a growing pop. Tall buildings can help to meet those needs, whilst freeing land for other uses, eg: the public space here.

Tamsin said...

An admirably succint summary of the general situation, Nick. Makes it all inevitable somehow.

Anonymous said...

Are tower blocks the answer,the reason they were knocked down was because of trouble and no go areas surely,were just going back to the bad old days.

Anonymous said...

The only reason we need them is that London's chavs won't stop having kids and no government on earth is ever going to have the balls to stop them.

monkeyboy said...

forced sterilisation? Euthanasia? Are posh folk allowed kids? You may be on to something, would also solve the brockley mess issue. As a 'final solution' it has some historical presidence.

Danja said...

Towers aren't the problem, there are many more low rise estates with equal or worse problems. Try the swathe of estates between Elephant and Peckham for some examples.

The height of a building doesn't determine what goes on inside it. The people inside the building do.

Anonymous said...

most of the people on those estates came from tower blocks

Danja said...

North Peckham - some mid-rise blocks, but predominantly low-rise (a building the same height wouldn't raise an eyebrow in Mayfair, Bloomsbury, etc)
http://i42.tinypic.com/mafjao.jpg

Aylesbury estate, ditto

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_NpINLHeo8rM/R6HXKfMJlyI/AAAAAAAAN4A/P1D85ShTFZc/s400/44.JPG

etc.

mb said...

so its altitude messing with their sense of criminal responsibility? Always hold onto your wallet when meeting the dali llamma.

Tamsin said...

The one-l lama, he's a priest
The two-l llama, he's a beast
But I'll bet a silk pyjama
You'll never find a three-l lama

(Ogden Nash) - I think!

Headhunter said...

Exactly Danja, people in this country have a phobia of tall buildings which are branded as "tower blocks" and "inevitably" become no go areas and complete dives that no one wants to live in, however if you look around the world at other major cities like New York or Tokyo, some of the most best places to live are what we would refer to as tower blocks. Within these buidlings the most desirable property are often the ones at the top/the penthouse.

As you say, it's not the building it's the people who inhabit it that make it a no go zone.

Anonymous said...

Not forgetting the amount of piss on the staircase.

Headhunter said...

Absolutely. Buildings don't generate their own piss, it's the residents who do this.

local resident said...

The Tower Shower that's what we call Lewisham's housing strategy.

Cav said...

The Tower is purely private whereas the crescent is affordable housing and mixed usage with live/work spaces.

Part of the permission places a requirement for a bookshop and a Goldsmith art gallery at ground level All very Brockley.

Time will tell whether Galliard have got the mix right.

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