729-33 Old Kent Road

729-33 Old Kent Road

MICA is currently working on the regeneration of Victorian commercial buildings at 729-733 Old Kent Road.

729-733 Old Kent Road is a row of Victorian shops owned by Southwark Council which has stood empty for many years. The council appointed MICA to work with engineersHRW to draw-up plans to refurbish the buildings and give them a new lease of life.

The proposals include retail on the ground floor and a new community cafe or pub, and training and education on the three upper storeys.

The unsafe condition of the unlisted historic buildings has prevented full surveys, and the progression of the design through RIBA Stage 3 is undertaken with a clear eye on the design risk associated with this. This is typical of the issues that impact projects with all existing buildings, but especially those with heritage importance – where understanding the potential for unknowns is key and requires clear communication across all parties including statutory stakeholders to ensure smooth progress.

The site is part of a larger development area, bounded by Old Kent Road and Devon Street, known as the Folgate Estates. It includes a number of separate buildings and a large yard. The council estimates that more than 200 flats could be built on the site overall, as well as more than 16,500 sq ft of commercial space. The parade of shops fronting Old Kent Road will be retained and refurbished as part of the council’s commitment to preserve local heritage throughout the regeneration area.

Southwark has been awarded Future High Streets funding to help pay for the project. There has been a period of consultation to get the public’s feedback on how the space might be used and how it should look, which will help inform the designs going forward.


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