BYRON CLOSE ESTATE
HIGHLY COMMENDED: NOT-FOR-PROFIT HIGHLY COMMENDED: SOCIAL IMPACT AWARD SHORTLISTED: COLLABORATION AWARD by Alphabetical www.alphabeticalstudio.com
A deprived social housing estate in Thamesmead, South London, Byron Close is overshadowed by an enormous concrete dual carriageway: the Harrow Manor Way flyover. Underneath, the derelict spaces are unlit and hot spots for crime and homelessness.
Local housing authority Peabody briefed Alphabetical to work closely with the community in Byron Close to produce an exterior structure, beneath the 120-metre-long flyover, which could attract arts, fitness and recreation projects.
Thamesmead might be quite grey, but the former industrial brown belt of land surrounding it is filled with wildlife. Illustrator Rebecca Sutherland was commissioned to study 10 locally thriving animals, creating sketches that were transformed into giant concrete sculptures, mounted on the flyover’s side.
A number of not-for-profit start-ups have already expressed interest in occupying the spaces, including a container cinema, market and outdoor kitchen.