The challenge of this site, a former workshop and garage, was to resolve the architectural relationships between the new building and its neighbours. To the north is an important conservation area which includes Columbia Road Flower Market and terraces of two storey Victorian houses. To the south is an estate of 60’s slab blocks, some up to eleven storeys high. These two neighbouring buildings exhibit diametrically different approaches to housing, each from a different era.
Our approach was to accept the collage of buildings that make up places like Bethnal Green and to make connections to repair the urban fabric and reinforce what is good about a place. The new design mediates between these diametrically opposed neighbours with a stepping form that rises from three to seven stories using a strong brick clad form with deep set balconies. The building is orientated towards an open green park space to the east.
This project won the prestigious Housing Design Award in 2009. It was completed in 2010.