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Ram Quarter, Wandsworth - Greenland UK with EPR Architects

Where is the project located - please enter full address and postcode?

Ram Quarter, Ram Street, Wandsworth, London, SW18 1TJ

 

Who is the developer/client of the project?

Minerva plc + Delancey; Greenland (UK) Investment Ltd

 

 

Please tell us the story of this project in 250 words max. When did the project complete? How has it evolved? Please upload images, maps or drawings that help describe the project in its location.

 

In 2013, after almost six years of design development, EPR secured planning consent for a mixed-use masterplan which has transformed the former Young’s brewery site into a new residential quarter that celebrates the strong heritage of the brewery buildings whilst creating a vibrant new heart in Wandsworth town centre.

Initially conceived by Minerva and Delancey, Greenland UK took ownership of the project in 2014 as sole developer. The first phase of Ram Quarter was completed in 2018 and includes Grade II* listed brewery buildings which have been sensitively repurposed to include commercial and cultural spaces at ground and first floor level with exclusive loft-style apartments above. The masterplan, which was conceived as a series of high-quality, inter-linked urban spaces with new pedestrian links, provides access to the River Wandle and improves connections with the surrounding neighbourhoods.

The riverbank has been opened to the public for the first time in centuries and is intrinsic to the public realm design. Enhanced biodiversity, richly planted terraces, pedestrian bridges and new public trails along the river offer valuable opportunities for cycling and walking throughout the scheme – reconnecting Londoners with nature.

Beer has been produced on the site since at least 1533, making it the oldest continuously operating brewery in Britain. Young’s brewed here between 1831 and 2006 and when it left a nanobrewery was maintained on site during design and construction to retain this legacy. Today, set within the listed brewery complex is the new home of Sambrook’s, London’s oldest independent brewer.

 

 



 

How has this project made a positive economic, social and environmental contribution to the wider place and its citizens? 250 words max. Please upload an images, clippings or drawings that support your statement.

 

 

Whilst the original Young’s brewery was a defining feature in Wandsworth for many years, it became an impenetrable barrier that concealed the River Wandle and hindered the growth and regeneration of the town centre. For generations, the eight-acre complex was enclosed by high walls and cut off to the public, corralled by a car-clogged one-way system hostile to pedestrians and preventing any real sense of community.

The transformation from a busy industrial area to a pedestrianised residential quarter with new public access routes has linked the surrounding neighbourhoods and brought new vitality to Wandsworth town centre.

The new buildings adopt and reinterpret the materials, forms and scale of the historic structures to define the urban edges of the public realm. At ground level, the elevations are enlivened with a range of commercial spaces including a yoga studio, café, bar, restaurants, nursery and barbershop. Retaining and repurposing the historic buildings to incorporate Sambrook’s brewery, a heritage centre, restaurant and bowling alley, provides public access into listed buildings that were once rarely visited.

On the opposite bank of the Wandle, the old Capital Studios have been transformed into the temporary home of Backyard Cinema, the UK’s only themed immersive cinema experience, before the commencement of Phase 2 development.

With over 300 high-quality homes already built and the vast majority occupied, Ram Quarter has become a hub of activity. Shops, restaurants and riverside walks are there for the enjoyment of both residents and visitors - creating a new thriving destination in southwest London.

 

 

 

 

How has this place adapted over time to changing demographics, behaviours, market context, policy, transport habits and the climate crisis? 250 words max. Please attach images, drawings or reports that support your statement.

 

There are records of brewing occurring on the site since at least 1533 and this industry remained constant and expanding until Young’s moved its manufacturing operations to Bedford in 2006. Since then, the site was used as the filming set for numerous television programmes including MasterChef and an explosive episode of Luther, whilst the onsite nanobrewery maintained a small but regular stream of curious visitors who enjoyed the site’s unique brewing.

The transformation into a new residential quarter is a turning point in the site’s history. The sensitive retention of the significant listed buildings, high-quality, modern new homes and wide array of commercial offerings appeal to the demographic of young professionals and families looking to live, work and play in a thriving urban area of southwest London. The scheme provides ample amounts of public space, with green landscaped courtyard gardens and a public square. It improves connections and promotes healthy travel habits that are good for the environment by implementing new pedestrian links throughout with access to nature and the River Wandle.

The subsequent two phases are yet to commence on-site but include a 36-storey residential tower, the integration of more listed buildings and the activation of the other side of the river, including two further pedestrian bridges.

Whilst the later phases have been designed holistically to complete the masterplan, there remains an opportunity to adapt the design to respond to alternative housing models or the wider regeneration of Wandsworth.



 

Please share any figures that support your entry; for example, increased dwell time, happiness surveys, post-occupancy surveys, footfall, event attendance, or observed changes in behaviour. Article references or quotes from supporters or reviews in the media may also be included. 250 words max.

 

The dwell time has increased dramatically as the physical barriers surrounding the site have been removed providing a new cultural destination for the public and a faster, more pleasant route through the town centre.

In addition to the new residents and those using the established commercial ventures within the Ram Quarter, the extensive public realm hosts multiple events throughout the year - introducing the scheme to a wider audience.

There’s a farmers market every Saturday offering ethically sourced produce and delicious street food, with the two hot food operators at the market making between 500-600 servings every Saturday combined.

The site, as Britain’s oldest continuous brewery, also holds an annual Craft Beer Festival, hosting a range of hard-to-find specialist craft beers, in addition to Sambrook’s much-loved favourites. The last festival in 2019 was a great success, attended by 1,300 people.

After a popular screening of the Wimbledon Championships in 2019, Wimbledon will screen again in 2021 for Finals weekend, with seating for 80 people and space for 499 in total. All food and drinks will be provided by the scheme’s varied commercial units, helping drive engagement within the community.

There’s also a weekly beer giveaway for residents. Since starting shortly after the first lockdown began last year, a total of 2064 litres, or 3633 pints, have to date been gifted to a total of 134 residents. It has been such a successful programme that it’s planned to be kept as a long-term feature of life at Ram Quarter.

 

Shortlisted for Place of the Year - The Pineapples Awards 2021

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