Squaring the Corners in Becontree with nimtim architects

Wednesday, 09 June 2021

Over the last May Bank Holiday we visited Becontree with nimtim architects who will be transforming 11 neglected corner plots on the estate, to create three new green squares on residential streets as part of the centenary celebrations. The focus of the day was to invite local residents, councillors and neighbours to the three proposed sites to discuss the plans for the corner plots.

Residents met up at the junctions of Adomar and Aylmer Road, Fuller and Lindsey Road and the Gale Street roundabout to discuss their corner plots project which will be the first of their kind here, creating a space that is in part wild, intimate and social. The outline designs borrow from existing geometries, colours and materials within the estate, and are being shaped by resident input.

“There are lots of speeding vehicles that use this street to cut through, so traffic calming solutions would be good”

“I’m concerned about anti-social behaviour but I like the community aspect” – Samantha

At each site, nimtim brought interactive scale models for residents to properly explore the ways that wilding and activating these plots will enliven and enrich the neighborhood, providing new places for people to meet, rest, grow and play.

We had a great turnout on the day with valuable conversations. We collected residents’ ideas and hopes for their streets, as well as concerns and past experiences. Residents were interested in ways to encourage nature through planting and creating areas for pause and reflection. Traffic calming and safer streets was also a high priority. The project will use the information gathered to inform the design decisions for each site. Nimtim will continue to engage with local residents through workshops, and hope to involve local residents in planting in the autumn.

nimtim Architects: Squaring the Corners is co-commissioned by Create London and the Royal Institute of British Architects for the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham.