Tottenham blocks found to be structurally unsound in tests carried out in wake of the Grenfell Tower fire 

Broadwater Farm Estate 2

All but one of the estate’s buildings were found to be structurally unsound following tests carried out in the wake of the Grenfell Tower fire

Architect PRP has landed the role of lead architect on a major refurbishment of two buildings on the Broadwater Farm Estate in north London which have been found to be at risk of collapse.

The practice will work on strengthening the Martlesham and Rochford buildings as part of a wider project to bring the estate in Tottenham up to current safety regulations.

Broadwater Farm was built in the late 1960s using the same large panel system construction used on Ronan Point, a 22-storey tower in Newham which partially collapsed in 1968, killing four people. 

Following the 2017 Grenfell Tower fire, Haringey council conducted tests on the 12 buildings on the Broadwater Farm estate – which became notorious following a riot in 1985 that saw a police officer killed – and announced that 11 were found to be structurally unsafe in the event of a fire or a vehicle impacting the base of the buildings.

Two of the blocks, Tangmere and Northolt, were evacuated in June 2018 and will be demolished.

Broadwater Farm estate

The estate made headlines in 1985 after a riot that saw a police officer killed

PRP, which will also be lead consultant on the job, will provide design services through RIBA Stages 3 and 4 on the refurbishment of the Martlesham and Rochford blocks, and continue to provide design support and monitoring during RIBA Stages 5 to 7.

The practice will also work with Haringey council’s sustainability team to ensure that the scheme meets the council’s commitment to achieving Net Zero by 2041. 

The wider scheme, which was backed by residents in a poll in March, will provide nearly 300 new council homes on the site alongside new community facilities and a park.

In October last year, the council was authorised by the secretary of state to issue a compulsory purchase order to clear the way for the demolition of the Tangmere and Northolt blocks.

The safety concerns uncovered included gaps between external wall panels and floor slabs which could worsen in the event of a fire and result in the progressive collapse of the buildings.