title: housing matters

Pepys Estate

Housing estates present a challenge for they are both public and private places. For the people who live in them, walking in and out is making use of their environment for transport, exercise, socialibility. For people from elsewhere, they are nodes of architectural and planning interest, means of walking in car almost free places to get from somewhere to somewhere but with a sense you are intruding in the privacy of others. The walkways are not roads or public highways.

Nowhere have I seen an estate map which shows where public transport might be, nowhere an indicator of a bus stop or how to get to it. Nowhere a map showing walks to connections; always closes and carparks.

I've chosen the Pepys Estate because it is on the Thames Path and therefore a national walk. It covers the remains of Henry the 8's Royal Dockyard so has lots of history tucked around, and with the interchange for the 47, 188 and 199 buses is also a major if well hidden connection from walking to public transport. The pictures are needed to show how all these components interact.

Thames Path

If you are coming from London Bridge and Surrey Quays, you simply carry on downriver and one estate merges into another


Cockayne Walk

This is a way in and out of the estate. It is a connector with walking and the public transport system. It is an example of how an interchange should not be built.

The buses connect Lewisham, Greenwich, London Bridge, Elephant & Castle, DLR, Jubilee Line, National Railway System. But it is very well hidden. I wonder how many of the people on the estate know how well connected they are?

Pepys estate
Pepys estate bus stop

And we have the view of one part of the estate with its bus stop

You wont see this from the other bus stop, so a little exercise in interchange engineering needed perhaps? From here you certainly wont know there are buses every few minutes, rather than one in ten, just round the corner


Here is the entrance to the estate, rather grand, the gateway of the Dockyards

But unfortunately, rather than leading you to some really good landscaping, it takes you to a blocked road and cars.


Next view of the estate, some rather beautiful dockyard dwellings

But you have to see them through railings and past motor cars from the lovely garden square.


Then another monstrous tower block, with views of the river, and a space underneath:

Which hasn't been turned into a car park. The end of the building is now an art gallery. Someone's intellectual property might be stolen if I photo?




< back to main page