The Blackstone Group
500,000 sq ft
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Spitalfields has emerged in recent years to become a vibrant quarter on the fringe of the City of London. It is an ideal location for one of a series of high-quality Nido residential developments, aimed at the student market.
The site fronting Middlesex Street, was formerly occupied by a poor quality post-war office building which disregarded the historic grain of the area. In contrast, the new development fills the site, providing street elevations on four sides, while reinstating the vital element of permeability. Its location, close to the cluster of office towers in the eastern sector of the City, provided scope for a tall building. The student accommodation, housing 1,200, is contained in a 35-storey tower, a dynamic composition with facades formed of high-performance glass and aluminium panels. Access is from the historic Frying Pan Alley, recast with an attractive new piazza – the alley also serves as a new pedestrian link between Spitalfields Market and Liverpool Street station. The other elements of the scheme, include a block of private apartments to the south, on Strype Street, and a five storey office building on Middlesex Street to the west. Retail and cafe units are provided at street level to reinforce the animated character of the area. While the street elevation of the office building is formed of full-height glazing, the apartment block is clad in terracotta panels to complement neighbouring buildings of 19th century date. tp bennett’s architectural and urban design strategy reflects the historic character of the area, while addressing 21st century needs.