To be or not to be is no longer the question, as Fraser Brown MacKenna Architects receives planning consent for Tower Hamlets
The new development provides 78 new apartments set around a landscaped courtyard and will replace the existing red brick 1960's Fulneck building, which contains 30 two bedroom maisonettes.
The new building is arranged around the perimeter of the site and provides an active frontage onto Mile End Road with shops and a cafe facing out onto the street - filling a 'void' of activity caused by the blank facade of the existing building. 30% of the homes in the new development will accommodate larger families (ranging from 5-8 people) including two eight person family homes with gardens. The larger sizes of homes provided in the new building reflect the housing needs of the local community.
The scheme design incorporates a number of estate-wide improvements, including the removal of one of the ground floor units of the adjacent Gracehill block, to create a light, open route between the north and south courtyards on the estate for the first time. A new landscape design, by MESH, will further bind the two parts of the estate together.
The site lies within the Stepney Green Conservation Area and the materials used seek to 'ground' the new building as part of the evolving story of Mile End Road - an ancient route into the city - using soft yellow London Stock Brick and laminate rainscreen cladding. The scheme aims to meet Code for Sustainable Homes Level 3, generating 20% of the anticipated energy needs of the new development from renewable sources.