Tower Hamlets, London
Client: Guildmore Ltd.
Date: Planning permission September 2013
The Dame Colet site occupies the junction of Ben Jonson Road and Stepney High Street in the Tower Hamlets Ward of St. Dunstan’s and Stepney Green. On its southerly side the site is adjacent to the historic public pedestrian passageway, Durham Row, which also borders the churchyard and open green space surrounding the Grade I listed St. Dunstan and All Saints Church. The Council required the delivery of a minimum of 40 socially rented housing units (CZWG Architects), together with a new youth and community building (PRS Architects). The site is subdivided approximately 30% : 60% between the youth club and the residential with the youth club located at the corner junction. The interface between the new development and the listed church required careful consideration. There is a long history of houses with active frontages along Durham Road and the positive reintroduction of this townscape attribute was also an aspiration of the design. A south facing garden courtyard layout was the preferred solution for the residential; an arrangement that offers substantial benefits for both residents and the urban context. The site enjoys public exposure along north, south and west sides. Although of different character, all three can be considered as significant frontages. The south facing aspect of the site is not only an historic urban edge but also offers excellent landscape and heritage views.