The Bermondsey Project is one of London’s largest built-to-rent developments, located on a 5.4 ha site previously home to the Peek Freans Biscuit Factory in the London Borough of Southwark. The project aims to revitalise the neighbourhood and re-establish the area as an inclusive, resilient and vibrant economic hub while preserving the distinctive industrial heritage and character of Bermondsey.
Grosvenor commissioned our landscape architects in 2017 to develop landscape strategies and design streetscapes within the development. We were also appointed to advise on technical requirements to meet the previous Draft New London planning policies relating to urban greening and play. Three years later, our work was granted full planning approval by the GLA.
The new environment landscape strategies and streetscape design will create a dynamic and sustainable neighbourhood, where people can come together to live, work and play. The masterplan will deliver over 1,500 new Private Rented Sector (PRS) homes, a new school, and public realm, which incorporates child-friendly interventions to ensure the area is safe and inclusive for everyone.
3ha new and improved public realm and streetscape
5%+increase in green cover at ground and roof levels
28%increase in tree canopy coverage including over 140 new trees
Enhancing the landscape
During the initial stages, we worked in collaboration with Andy Sturgeon Design to develop the landscape design which aims to:
enhance connectivity and permeability of the site and the wider neighbourhood for both new and existing residents;
create a distinctive public realm that responds to the industrial heritage and character of Bermondsey; and
preserve and enrich the existing tree network, improve the local biodiversity and maximise urban green infrastructure.
We have been working with Arup on our mixed-use neighbourhood in Bermondsey since conceptual design. Their ability to combine strategic thinking with detailed and co-ordinated design as we have progressed through the stages of the project has been impressive.” Fergus Evans Project Director, Grosvenor Ltd
A walkable and sustainable neighbourhood
We worked closely with our infrastructure engineers to ensure the existing and proposed utilities and requirements for the landscape concept proposals were robust and functional for the public realm. Underpinned by the Healthy Streets agenda, which focuses on people and their health as central to design, our streetscape proposals ensure a series of inclusive pedestrian priority routes to promote and encourage active travel across the site.
While enhancing the landscape, we kept Bermondsey’s character and authenticity alive. We repurposed salvaged materials where possible to create a sustainably connected public realm, such as using existing cobblestones as feature paving, adding a new layer of history.
Increasing urban greening
The carefully selected palette of trees, plants, street furniture and lighting were designed to enhance the character of the different spaces within the neighbourhood and to reflect Bermondsey’s rich industrial heritage. These green interventions will provide at least 22,000m2 of greening at ground and roof levels - 41% of the entire site, in the form of rain gardens, mixed shrub and perennial planting beds, tree planting, vertical greening, amenity lawns and intensive, extensive and biodiverse roofs.
This significant increase in greening will create a network of green corridors and provide benefits, including enhancing local biodiversity and minimising heat concentration within the development, also known as the urban heat island effect. Sustainable drainage systems (SuDS) in the form of rain gardens will help manage storm water runoff whilst providing an attractive green backdrop and valuable contact with nature. These interventions met Grosvenor’s sustainability targets and exceeded those within the 2019 Draft new London Plan, demonstrating a resilient approach to the design of the public spaces while responding to the challenges of climate change.