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PLACE/Ladywell pop-up housing village

Read about the UK's first 'pop-up village', PLACE/Ladywell, an innovative temporary housing and community space that opened in 2016.

The units provide temporary homes for 24 families registered homeless and ground-floor space for community and enterprise use. Using a ground-breaking construction method, PLACE/Ladywell was built quicker and with less expense than using traditional methods. 

Work started on the scheme in November 2015 and in a little over six months the first homeless families were able to move in.

All units exceed the current space standard requirements by 10%, helping us to meet an existing shortfall in both high quality temporary and two-bed accommodation whilst we develop new-build and estate regeneration programmes across the borough. 

The scheme has been devised in collaboration with internationally-renowned architecture practice Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners, and is one of the ways we are responding to the on-going high demand for housing in the borough.

The intention is for the structure to remain on the Ladywell site for no more than four years, after which it will be deconstructed, moved and reconstructed elsewhere in the borough.


In September 2015 residents and businesses in Ladywell had a chance to contribute thoughts and ideas on how the ground floor space of PLACE/Ladywell  could be used. 

Nearly 600 people took part in the five-day event. Over a third of people said they felt the area lacked a creative presence. The five most popular ideas were a cinema, a creative workspace, sports facilities, a community event space and a support centre. 

Business owners were also asked what facilities they would like to have on the ground floor of the building and 30% said they wanted  space for networking alongside their other business needs.

Future plans

Looking towards the longer-term plans for the site, the Lewisham town centre local plan designates the site for a mix of uses including retail and housing. There will be further consultation with local residents and the wider public before any decisions are made about its long-term future.