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Stockwool approval signals new wave of East End high-rise schemes

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Plans by Stockwool for a 25-storey tower development in Whitechapel, east London, have been given the green light 

The £90 million scheme in Raven Row close to The Royal London Hospital was approved last night (24 July) by Tower Hamlets Council’s planning committee, with a seven to one vote in favour.

Backed by L&Q, the project is among a new wave of major high-rise developments in the area. Last month, Sheppard Robson unveiled plans for a 24-storey tower in nearby Cavell Street and David Adjaye and PLP Architecture have already submitted proposals for a 300-home redevelopment of the Whitechapel Estate featuring 12 new buildings of up to 24 storeys.

BDP’s 2014 masterplan for Whitechapel Road, around the new Crossrail station, also features a number of potential new skyscrapers. 

The Stockwool scheme will provide 564 flats in two towers of 25 and 18 storeys, a separate eight-storey building and attached low-rise buildings. 

The plans also include 3,345m² of commercial space, which will include offices, shops, restaurants and a gym, plus 70 car parking spaces.

About 30 per cent of the flats will be classed as ‘affordable’, comprising 51 affordable rented units, 43 social rented units and 55 intermediate units.

Ewout Vandeweghe, partner at Stockwool, said: ’We are delighted that Tower Hamlets has granted consent for this landmark scheme. It reflects the ambitions and aspirations for this area in London and we are proud to be a part of the wider regeneration of Whitechapel.’

The proposals will see the demolition of a former Safestore, a laser tag-gaming venue and Play On Sports - a temporary multi-sports and indoor cricket facility.

Roger Rebelo, general manager at Play On Sports, said it was likely that the sports centre would be closed following the demolition because attempts to locate another venue in Tower Hamlets had been unsuccessful.

He said: ‘We’ve made a big mark here. We’ve become a community within itself. We give people a chance to play sports, have a place that they call home. The community would be sad [if it closed].’

Construction is scheduled to start in early 2017, with the first completions on site set for 2018. 

Architects’ view

Straddling two nearby conservation areas, the design concept focuses on connectivity and permeability, introducing new pedestrianised streets and squares. A number of new ‘character areas’ embed the scheme into its surroundings.

The predominantly brick and reconstituted stone design creates strong street-based frontages to the existing urban context, while a glass and aluminium-clad tower stands at the heart of the scheme, enhancing the future townscape of Whitechapel.

Project data

Location Whitechapel, London E1
Type of project Mixed use: 564 apartments, 3,345m² commercial space
Client London & Quadrant Housing Group
Architect Stockwool
Interior design Stockwool
Landscape architect Townshend Landscape Architects
Planning consultant DP9
Structural engineer MLM
M&E consultant MLM
Completion date First completions expected 2018
Site size 1.4ha, 30 per cent of which will be dedicated to new public realm
Form of contract Design and Build
Total cost £90 million

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Readers' comments (1)

  • And 'the ambitions and aspirations for this area of London' are what, I wonder, beyond those of the developer? To create a place that's indistinguishable from those at the more banal end of the architectural spectrum in countless unremarkable small American cities?

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