Chamberlin Powell and Bon, 1963
18 Combe Avenue, Vanbrugh Park Estate, SE3 7PY
Vanbrugh Park Estate was designed by Chamberlin, Powell and Bon. The estate shares many stylistic similarities with their wider work such as the semi-circular curved motifs, purposeful use of light, and approach to community living.
Maze Hill, Westcombe Park, Blackheath
54, 53, 108, 386
The Vanbrugh Park Estate is on the north side of Blackheath. A walk from Cutty Sark DLR station will take you through the spectacular Greenwich Park past the historic observatory.
Vanbrugh Park Estate is set on seven acres with a mixture of dwelling types: an eight-storey tower block containing 64 flats, low-rise terraced houses, and maisonettes arranged over garages.
Residents are a mixture of owners and tenants, bringing a diverse group of people together. Some of the first ever residents and their descendants still live here, a testament to the positive community – something that was originally intended by the architects.
Suffragette Emily Davison was born at Roxburgh House, 13 Vanbrugh Park Road West in 1872, where the estate now sits. Emily was known as one of the most passionate fighters of her cause for a woman’s right to vote.
Like many parts of London, the area was bombed in the Second World War. The Borough of Greenwich commissioned the scheme to build Vanbrugh Park Estate in the late fifties, requesting a mixture of dwellings, and one of two sketches proposed by Chamberlin, Powell and Bon came to fruition. Simple, but functional materials were used to save on costs, like the breeze-block exterior; this was so that more could be spent on the communal areas such as landscaping. Careful consideration was taken by the architects to respect the surrounding areas, including the blind-wall terraces facing the Heath; it was meant to reflect Greenwich Park’s own wall using similar brickwork.
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