The development of 180 Brockley Road has created the closest thing we are ever going to get to a coherent town centre around Brockley Station, so it's worth reflecting on the finished product.
The building links Coulgate Street and Brockley Road, while the improvements to Coulgate Street have opened up the East Side entrance to Brockley Station.
The new block is, in my view, a mini triumph. The building creates a handsome new stretch of high street that combines symmetry and variation while the materials complement the surrounding buildings without trying too hard to fit in. The angles created by the roofline at either end of Coulgate Street are spectacular, but they don't distract from the charm of the original cottages. Only the value-engineered brown balconies let it down.
Although the ground floor units of 180 Brockley Road offer an underwhelming mix new businesses, another empty unit has been created by the station, which is begging to be filled by a foodie business. Next month, Degustation will re-open as a bottle shop. The Coulgate Street cluster will then be nicely balanced with restaurants (The Gantry, Mo Pho, Nu Spice), a pub (The Barge), cafes (Browns, the Broca), shops (Salthouse Bottles, Sainsbury's), and services (taxis, architects and estate agents).
Perhaps best of all though is what has been done to Coulgate Street itself. Once upon a time, this was Coulgate Street. Now, the bounteous green borders of Brockley Station have been joined by nice wide pavements, while the provision of fewer spaces for cars and more places for bikes has created a much calmer, prettier and more versatile gateway to the neighbourhood. Cafe culture has bloomed.