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.”