Gascoigne East Phase 2, London

Gascoigne East Phase 2, London

The reimagining of the Gascoigne neighbourhood is at the heart of the council’s ambition to regenerate Barking as one of London’s greenest, most affordable, and sustainable neighbourhoods.

High-quality Scandinavian design principles that respect the context

Built in the 1960s, the existing estate featured deteriorating high-rise towers, low rise blocks, and a lack of useable community space. The project was an opportunity to regenerate the neighbourhood, deliver new apartments, townhouses, community facilities, and a new park in a place where people will want to live. It raises the bar for affordable housing with modern, spacious homes and a rich mix of open spaces and nature.

The architectural composition of the new buildings responds to its surroundings; the tall buildings of Barking Town Centre to the north, and the perimeter blocks in the south. New green urban realm links encourage walking and cycling to Barking Town Centre and its bustling high street of independent shops and market.

The neighbourhood has embraced high-quality Scandinavian urban design principles that respect the context while adding to London’s rich mix of old and new architecture. Through thoughtful design elements including high-performance building fabrics and dual aspect homes with natural lighting and both shared and private gardens, the neighbourhood has achieved a balance between preserving its heritage and embracing modern development to fuel social wellbeing and a sense of community.

Ground floor shops, homes and a variety of public spaces enliven the public realm, with community activities, like gardening, improving people’s quality of life.

Client: Be First
Location: Barking, London, UK
Status: Completed 2023
Contractor: Willmott Dixon Construction
Photo: Paul Riddle
Visuals: White Arkitekter

Be First helped establish the Gascoigne Residents’ Forum so that residents’ ideas and feedback are listened to and placemaking principles remain at the forefront of the wider regeneration of the Gascoigne Neighbourhood. Highlighting the needs of young female residents, White Arkitekter’s ‘Places for Girls’ co-design workshops at Greatfields School, made sure the design was inclusive for all.

New homes for Barking

Together with Willmott Dixon Construction, we have delivered a rich mix of safe, warm, and affordable housing, open green spaces, and commercial spaces.

A total of 430 apartments and four townhouses are arranged into five tenure blind blocks with 11 buildings in total, ranging in height from 2 to 13 storeys. To foster a diverse and inclusive neighbourhood, homes are available in a mix of tenures, with 62% affordable or shared ownership and 38% private, and there is a significant proportion of larger family homes. All homes have private amenity space in the form of a balcony, terrace or garden.

The Scandinavian design principles of community wellbeing and shared outdoor space have been carefully crafted to align with neighbourhood’s context. The new 5,000sqm park at the heart of the neighbourhood is a place to play, exercise, socialise and rest, at the same time improving biodiversity. Enhanced links to Barking Town Centre and revived existing routes around the neighbourhood improve safety and encourage walking and cycling for healthier streets. Complementing this are secure courtyards, shared by different tenures, offering a safe meeting place for communities to promote social interaction, cohesion and enhance residents’ wellbeing.

Green Living

Sustainable design principles have been integrated throughout the masterplan to maximise climate resilience. To encourage active, sustainable travel, around 1000 cycle spaces are included in the new development.

All homes are linked to a district heating system where 69% of the heat is supplied by WSHP (*water sourced heat pumps) from the River Roding. Photovoltaic panels on the roofs and high-performance fabric reducing operational energy demands, lowers residents’ bills – vital amid the cost-of-living crisis and unprecedented energy costs. A block of eight homes has been delivered to Passive House standards.

  • 181 new trees and 21,000 plants supporting resilient biodiversity have been planted.
  • Sustainable urban drainage principles implemented in courtyards, along streets and in the park to address current and future environmental challenges
  • Locally sourced concrete
  • 1,399 hours supporting employment for locals
  • £78.6m SROI within 16 miles of the project
  • 29 work experience placements
  • 190 volunteering days
The completion of East Phase 2 is a significant milestone for Be First and the local community and means that over 1,400 homes have now been delivered across the Gascoigne Neighbourhood. The transformation of the neighbourhood has focused on placemaking, affordability, sustainability and community impact to create safe, warm, and affordable housing and turn the area into a highly desirable place for people to live.
Jacob Willson, Head of Design, Be First

Contact & Team

Linda Thiel

Linda Thiel


+44 793 269 01 56

Lukas Thiel

Project Director

Joseph Price

Project Architect

Darren Wilson

Project Architect

Anders Parment


Matteo Grometto


Jake Ford

Lead Landscape Architect

Anna Eklund

Landscape Architect

Freya Tigerschiöld

Architectural Assistant

Emma Carr

Paddy Perring

Adolfo Barbeito Ulloa

Claire Wadey

Joyce Asante-Crompton

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