Charterhouse Road Club, E8

dates: 2011–13 (completion phase 1: 2012,
phase 2: 2013)
commissioned by: Southern Housing Group
stakeholder group: Samuel Lewis Trust Estate
budget: £80K
funding: Mayor of London Funding, Football Foundation
Sustainable Housing “Transformation” Award 2013 (winner), Urban Intervention Award Berlin “Built” 2013 (shortlisted), RIBA MacEwen Award 2015 (shortlist)
AJ “What if: projects turns north London green”, 27.09.2012,
Transforming Cities, Urban Interventions in Public Space (Jovis), 2015
related projects: Vacant Lot

Charterhouse Road Club is one of 21 projects realised as part of the VACANT LOT program initiated by what if: projects. The transformation of a derelict piece of land into an allotment in 2011 kick started a string of improvements and ultimately resulted in the refurbishment and opening of the adjacent community centre, a new multi-purpose games area and an outside gym.

The project was developed through a collaboration with local children, VACANT LOT plot holders and Southern Housing Group. Seed funding for the project was provided by the housing association and match funding was successfully attracted through the Mayor of London Fund and the Football Foundation (2012).
what if: projects produced the design and construction information and project managed the delivery on site. Works were carried out by specialist subcontractors, construction trainees from Hackney College over a period of two years.

“The allotment has been a focal point for the estate, it has had a ripple effect to get other non garden issues addressed and activities taking place, as well as getting the community centre up and running, the play area developed and safe, residents have more pride in the estate.” (quote by local resident)

“what if: projects enthusiasm caught the mood and together with the local residents developed ideas to breathe new life into the neglected area of their estate. what if: projects skilfully managed the project both in terms of design and construction utilising both specialist and trainees to bring about the transformation of both the community hall and create an imaginative play area both of which were well received by the residents and are well used. I was most impressed by what if: project’s ability to work closely with the range of stakeholders, remain focused and by using a simple pallet of products accomplished the transformation which significantly enhanced both the aesthetic and utility of the community space.” (Asset Management Director, Southern Housing Group, January 2016)