Laminated veneer lumber is the ideal material to achieve this; lightweight, prefabricated modules can be craned into place with minimal disruption to the everyday life of the market.
The scheme uses a familiar London typology of a busy public realm at the ground floor with a mix of housing above.
In order for the intense commercial activity to continue and expand the public realm, podium structures fill in the urban block, creating a semi-public landscape, with loading areas retained beneath. Open staircases and lifts manage the transition between ground and first floors.
Existing residential blocks are extended upwards using Kerto-Q and Kerto-S laminated veneer lumber modules while new blocks sitting on the podium itself use the same system. The timber is protected from the elements but visible through an aluminium glazed screen and is exposed throughout residential interiors, providing a highly insulated and high quality finish.
This system could be adapted and replicated across London and other cities, as a way to address the tide of wholesale gentrification - a more human, slower paced and responsible method of regeneration and change, while adding significant density to the areas people want to live.
This is a place where ordinary people can show civic pride, are much more conscious of the environmental consequences of their personal choices, where institutions and corporations adopt sustainable practices not just because it is economically or politically correct to do so, but because it is the responsible thing to do.