Following the Grenfell Tower tragedy, there was rapid recognition both of the need to make real improvements around the estate and the need to ensure that the residents lead the process. With that in mind, the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea and the Ministry of Housing & Local Government have committed funding to support an ambitious, resident-led refurbishment of the estate. To ensure these improvements reflect the needs of the community, the Council is working in partnership with local residents through the Lancaster West Residents’ Association (LWRA), supported by Central Government, to ‘co-design’ the renewal of the estate.
A team of designers and facilitators was appointed in November to work with residents to generate ideas for the future refurbishment of the Estate. The Ministry of Housing Communities and Local Government made the initial selection and consulted with the Lancaster West Residents’ Association, who added some practices to the list.
The practices were selected because of their experience and design skills and because of their ability to work collaboratively with residents as part of a co-design process. The joint experience and expertise of the architectural team covers housing, community and public buildings, landscape design, sustainability and most importantly for this project, community engagement.
The process involves helping residents create a design vision for the refurbishment and improvement of their homes, their immediate neighbourhood, and the wider estate.
The initial ‘ideas’ phase of the process , to be completed at the end of March is the first step in the resident led refurbishment which local and central government have committed to being an exemplar of its kind. The next stage of the will continue the co-design process with residents involved in selecting the firms to be commissioned to develop the design options in more detail. The options will be costed, and their impacts analysed, so that informed choices can be made on what to take forward to implementation.