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Nimtim Architects Selected by RIBA to Reimagine Neglected Corner Plots for the Becontree Estate in East London

Nimtim Architects Selected by RIBA to Reimagine Neglected Corner Plots for the Becontree Estate in East London

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has announced the selection of nimtim architects with artist Katie Schwab for the Becontree Estate’s public realm commission. Looking to redesign 12 neglected and underused corner plots across the estate, the project reimagines these areas as new civic squares in East London.

Courtesy of nimtim architectsCourtesy of nimtim architectsBecontree Estate. Image Courtesy of Tony-Ray Jones, RIBA CollectionsBecontree Estate. Image © Kalpesh Lathigra+ 9

On the centenary of the estate, RIBA in collaboration with Create London and London Borough of Barking and Dagenham (LBBD) is celebrating Becontree’s past and reimagining its future. Six emerging and mid-career architectural practices were invited to propose a way to make neglected corner plots of the estate more valuable spaces for the community, a brief developed in conversation with the community.

Courtesy of nimtim architects
Courtesy of nimtim architects

Proposing a way to make the corner plots more deliberate, to increase their social potential, biodiversity, and sustainability, nimtim architects, whose work revolves around people and the stories and ideas they bring to the projects they make together, with artist Katie Schwab won the commission with the proposal entitled “Squaring the Corners”.


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Becontree, the largest council estate in Britain, was built 100 years ago. Conceived part of the Garden City movement, it originally had generous green amenity spaces at the ends of terraces; the ‘corner plots’. These large front and back gardens, parks, and undefined green amenity spaces were leftover from dividing up farmland into plots for homes.

Courtesy of nimtim architects
Courtesy of nimtim architects

Nimtim architects with artist Katie Schwab proposed to “reorganize Becontree’s neglected corner plots as new civic squares for people to meet, rest, grow and play – and to enhance the experience of walking through the estate, of stopping and looking, and being outdoors”. The design inspired by geometries, colors, and materials, invites residents to take ownership of the squares.

Moreover, other shortlisted practices and proposals were:

© Okra
© Okra
© RESOLVE
© RESOLVE
© Studio Aki with Hayhurst & Co.
© Studio Aki with Hayhurst & Co.
© Studio Gil and Tisserin Engineers
© Studio Gil and Tisserin Engineers

In addition to the commission, part of four special projects for the centenary of the Becontree Estate, RIBA is also organizing an exhibition project with artist Verity-Jane Keefe; a display of newly commissioned estate photography by Kalpesh Lahitgra and a schools program with Mayesbrook Park School and social enterprise, POoR Collective.

Info Via RIBA.

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Cite: Christele Harrouk. "Nimtim Architects Selected by RIBA to Reimagine Neglected Corner Plots for the Becontree Estate in East London" 02 Mar 2021. ArchDaily. Accessed . <https://www.archdaily.com/957794/nimtim-architects-selected-by-riba-to-reimagine-neglected-corner-plots-for-the-becontree-estate-in-east-london> ISSN 0719-8884

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