The East End of London immediately adjacent to the City is undergoing a transformation which, to put it kindly, is not of its own making. Next to the Spitalfields market building, the epr abn Amro bank building has risen, a giant Modernist neighbour providing a foretaste of even more to come: the Norman Foster Liffe exchange which will involve demolition of half the market, and signify the latest incursion into one of the poorest parts of the capital by financial institutions.
Just eastwards of all this activity, which will eventually prompt a Covent Garden-style backlash, is Brick Lane, best known to Londoners as home of marvellous cheap (and genuine) Bangladeshi restaurants, but still with traces of its former dominant immigrant population in the form of beigel bakeries.
Social requirements are not being ignored, as this 'move on' housing scheme by Matthew Lloyd Architects shows. The special needs scheme, with shops at street level, provides flats for former homeless people - a step beyond hostel accommodation which gives residents a year to find a permanent home.
Designed for Providence Row housing association, a Catholic charity which has worked in East London for more than a century, the scheme's retail units, including an 1860 pub, have been financed by Spitalfields Market Community Trust.
Providence Row Housing Association and Spitalfields Market Community Trust
Matthew Lloyd Architects: Matthew Lloyd, Guy Shackle, Carlton Bodkin
Bristow Johnson and Partners
Price & Myers
Stephens & James Construction Services