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Sheppard Robson reveals plans for 24-storey East End tower

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Sheppard Robson has unveiled plans for a new residential-led development in Whitechapel, east London, featuring a 24-storey tower

The 16,765m² scheme in Cavell Street, which will house 85 flats and ground-floor commercial space, also includes an eight-storey building with 28 flats and 3,716m² of office space.

A planning application for the project, close to David Adjaye’s Whitechapel Idea Store, was submitted in April and has received no formal objections.

Historic England also said it had ‘no significant concerns’ with the new development, but did urge planners to address a number of issues with the design, including its view that the 24-storey tower could affect ‘the setting of a wide range of designated heritage assets’.

In particular, the heritage organisation said the proposed tower would ‘cause some harm’ to the London Hospital Conservation Area because it would rise ‘significantly’ above the roofline of the Grade II-listed former Royal London Hospital east wing.

Sheppard Robson partner Alan Shingler said the project ‘resonated with the ambition of the area and [would] act as a marker for future plans’.

He added: ‘The overarching aim of the project is to provide something new to an area of London that is undergoing significant change.’

The designs feature metal cladding on the exterior, recessed balconies and a textured surface intended as a ‘a subtle representation’ of the area’s history with textile-making.

Earlier this month, Sheppard Robson also submitted plans for another scheme in east London - the regeneration of Chrisp Street Market which also included a major tower element.

The architect’s view

The two elements of the scheme will be linked and enlivened by a series of public and external spaces.

Building One, the 85-apartment high-rise element, will occupy the north end of the site and will house commercial space on the ground level to animate the project at street level. The exterior of the building will be characterised by metallic cladding, with the textured surface detail a subtle representation of the area’s heritage of textile-making.

Vertical windows to the north and south elevations will frame views of London and the streetscape below, whilst maximising the amount of daylight into the apartments. The east and west sides are more solid in appearance, with horizontal windows carefully positioned to avoid solar gain and frame panoramic views of the City of London.

Building One, as with the overall development, will be characterised by generous communal spaces. The homes will have large, recessed balconies; this will create an opportunity for residents to add greenery to the exterior that will contribute to the identity of the building.

A landscaped pedestrian route will mediate between Building One and the eight-storey mixed-use Building Two. The top four floors of the latter house affordable residential, with four levels of flexible workspace below this. Building Two will have an outdoor communal terrace, with brown roofs and photovoltaics positioned on the top of the development to boost its environmental performance. This low-rise element of the project is carefully moulded to its urban setting; the upper levels of Building Two are stepped to integrate into the surrounding urban fabric while at ground level the building has curved corners to create visible connections between the development, neighbouring buildings and public spaces.

The overall massing of the project will be consistent with the development plans of the neighbouring site, which will create high-density amenities for a part of London that will soon be connected to Crossrail. The density of the development could allow affordable housing, currently located on a neighbouring site, to be relocated within the new development. This would create an opportunity for a new public space on the adjacent site, which will visible from the development.

Project data

Location Whitechapel, London
Type of project Residential-led mixed use
Client KTS Group
Architect Sheppard Robson
Landscape architect Wilder Associates
Planning consultant Nathaniel Lichfield & Partners
Structural engineer Price & Myers
M&E consultant XC02 Energy
Quantity surveyor Baily Garner
Funding Private
Gross internal floor area 16,765m²


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