Whitechapel Road

Can a new mixed-use development provide a contemporary environment to live and work, whilst responding meaningfully to the specific identity and historical fabric at the fringe of the City? 

DSDHA are leading the design of a mixed-use development located on Whitechapel Road, within the Whitechapel High Street Conservation Area. The large site has addresses on four streets, occupied by an existing office building, Cityside House, along with a large courtyard space to the rear. 

The overall ambition is to unify a city block and celebrate it’s industrial heritage while adapting to Whitechapel’s new position in London’s future, with the expansion of the City into its fringes and the arrival of Cross Rail and Overground in an densely populated area.  

The proposal will refurbish and extend Cityside House, creating contemporary high quality office spaces above retail units at ground floor. The new Cityside House will respond, in its materiality and proportions, to its unique location, near to the Grade II* listed Whitechapel Bell Foundry – Britain’s oldest manufacturing company dating back to the 16th Century, from where both Big Ben and the bells of Westminster Abbey were made. 

It is proposed that several components on the building’s exterior will be cast in a local foundry. This will include a feature metal screen which will run the length of the office lobby on Adler Street. A reference to the site's industrial heritage, the cast elements will also unify the older buildings with the new roof extension. Internally the original cast iron riveted columns will be exposed and the unique rhythm of the existing concrete beams will be revealed allowing an insight to the piecemeal growth of the Buck and Hickman tool manufacturer that occupied the site up until 1974.

A residential building is proposed to complete the block on Plumbers Row at the eastern corner of the site, with the current service yard re-activated by a new hotel block and landscaped courtyard. 

The scale of the scheme will re-establish a civic presence to this locally important site, acting as a gateway to Whitechapel, and a catalyst to the regeneration of the wider area.
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