Portobello Square

Built between 1964 and 1985, the Wornington Green estate in Kensington originally consisted of 538 homes made up mainly of flats in six-storey connected blocks. A review, carried out between 2001 and 2005, found that regeneration was the best way to address problems on the estate, including high levels of overcrowding and under-occupancy.

The regeneration plans include building 1,000 quality affordable homes of mixed sizes and 20 new retail units for Portobello Road – generating up to 200 new jobs. A connecting road will be constructed to integrate the estate better into the surrounding community and a new community centre will be built. The scheme was granted planning approval for the first of five phases in 2010.

Ardmore was appointed as the main contractor for the first phase of the project, comprising the design and build of 324 new mixed tenure homes – 141 for private sale, 174 affordable and 9 for shared ownership. The scheme also includes re-provision of a public park and retail units.

The integration of lean design and a district heating system served from onsite gas boilers and its own dedicated CHP (combined heat and power) systems helped to meet the local authority’s planning requirements.

The energy strategy was developed over a number of years, and was designed to be flexible in its implementation. It currently meets the Code for Sustainable Homes Level 4 requirements. However, with the use of further on-site and off-site renewables technologies, it can be enhanced to meet Level 5.

The project is extremely demanding logistically. As the first phase of the project, a complex decant strategy has been developed with Catalyst Housing with partially occupied blocks being part deconstructed in order to make space for the new buildings for residents to be decanted into.

Local Authority: Kensington & Chelsea

Client: Catalyst Housing Group

Architect: PRP

Structural Engineer: Campbell Reith

London, by Ardmore


Ardmore is synonymous with London. We know London, we understand its geography, its infrastructure and its people. We love the city with a passion.

We offer fixed price certainty on projects up to £200m. Everything from multiphase regeneration schemes with dense urban housing to high-rise developments, luxury residential projects and bespoke hotels.

We’re experts in overcoming London’s unique logistical challenges, and we fully appreciate our responsibilities to communities affected by the disruption of major building works.

We’re also the contractor of choice when it comes to preserving the capital’s heritage whether that is preserving a listed feature or renovating an iconic building to its former glory.

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