Cressingham Gardens, London SW2

Cressingham Gardens
Tulse Hill SW2
Low-rise leafy estate located next to beautiful Brockwell Park noted for its innovative design, incorporating pioneering architectural elements and echoing the natural topography.
Architect: Ted Hollamby
Year Built: 1967–78

This South London low-rise estate is a real grower. First impressions aren’t overwhelmingly positive (it has fallen into slight disrepair in parts) but on closer inspection there are numerous features which lift this far above the average South London estate.

For starters, the setting next to Brockwell Park and the arrangement of the buildings around a cluster of three green mounds, is quite beautiful. The estate was designed to echo the natural topography (i.e. the tops of the low-rise buildings are the same height or shorter than the trees so from a distance, the estate cannot be seen at all) and the buildings themselves, with their stepped structures and jutting balconies, are not dissimilar to those on the celebrated Alexandra and Ainsworth Estate. The estate is unusually green and there does seem to be a genuine sense of community amongst the residents.

There are a number of different property types on the estate ranging from one bedroom flats to four bedroom maisonettes. Judging from the properties that I visited, room sizes are generous, layouts have been designed to benefit from the views of the park and many of the properties incorporate multiple levels and small gardens. The overall impression is that everything has just been really well designed with the residents of the properties in mind.

It is therefore a great shame that there are very real plans for the whole site to be ‘regenerated’ next year. I cannot imagine that the development replacing Cressingham Gardens will be so well designed.

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