British Land to support this year’s Shakespeare in Shoreditch Festival
We are excited to announce that British Land will support this year’s ‘Shakespeare in Shoreditch Festival’. The Festival takes place between Wednesday 20th April and Saturday 30th April, and includes a series of performances, talks, film screenings and workshops celebrating 400 years of Shakespeare, and which connect Shakespeare’s stories with 21st century Shoreditch. Alongside this, theatre company The Rude Mechanicals is touring Hackney and Tower Hamlets delivering educational workshops to the boroughs’ schools, public parks, squares and community centres from a custom-made pageant wagon, whilst attempting a world record of 1,000 plays in 10 days. British Land is proud to be supporting both elements of the Festival and the Blossom Street warehouse will act as one of the four performance venues. We hope you are able to come along to enjoy this exciting Festival. You can purchase tickets at the following link: http://newdiorama.com/whats-on/shakespeare-in-shoreditch-festival-2016
Norton Folgate art project now live
Three new works by artists Gillian Wearing, Peter Liversidge and Adham Faramawy have now been installed on the former shop fronts of properties located at Norton Folgate.
British Land has teamed up with Create London to commission a trio of art installations. The project is named Trading Places and involves three British artists with strong links to the Tower Hamlets area.
The artists have created art pieces on the theme of local business through time and can be seen in the below images.
Trading Places (2016). Courtesy Emil Charlaff
Amendments to No. 12 and 13 Blossom Street warehouses
In November 2015, we submitted amendments to the Blossom Street scheme to the London Borough of Tower Hamlets and the GLA.
The amendments will see No. 12 and 13 Blossom Street warehouses retained as separate buildings. We will also keep the existing floor levels and maintain the current roofscape.
You can view all the key changes in the Addendum to the Design and Access Statement HERE
A copy of all the application documents can be viewed HERE
Exciting temporary art project is coming soon to Blossom Street
We’ve been working with Create London to commission a trio of art installations on Norton Folgate. The project – named Trading Places – involves three British artists with strong personal connections to the London Borough of Tower Hamlets.
The artists have created pieces on the theme of local business through time, which will be reproduced on the former shop fronts of properties on Norton Folgate.
Peter Liversidge (http://www.peterliversidge.com/) has reconstructed the façade of Baker and Sons, once a family run butcher shop at 37 Norton Folgate from around 1910.
Gillian Wearing (http://www.tate.org.uk/art/artists/gillian-wearing-obe-2648) pays homage to Taj Stores, one of the UK’s first Bengali grocery shops, founded in the Brick Lane area in 1936.
Adham Faramawy (http://adhamfaramawy.blogspot.co.uk/) has created an avatar to imagine a technological future for commerce in Tower Hamlets.
We have attached a mock-up image of the works in the location they will appear, which will accompany the planning application we are submitting shortly to Tower Hamlets for permission to install the works.
We hope that the works will be in place by the New Year.
An Open Letter to the Spitalfields Trust
As you may be aware, a significant amount of misinformation and misrepresentation of our plans has been circulating in the public domain over the past few months and we want to provide an open letter we have written to the Spitalfields Trust outlining our final position in relation to the issues they raised with us during our consultation.
New SME space at Blossom Street
Blossom Street will create a working environment that builds on the rich history of Spitalfields and Shoreditch as a place for independents, creators, artisans and innovators.
We will deliver space for SMEs working in the technology and creative industries, in an area where there is little else in the pipeline.
The small, characterful offices will provide the space that these businesses need to thrive and grow. With flexible leases and a wide range of different spaces, Blossom Street provides something desperately lacking in the City fringe areas.
· 60% of our floors are under 3,500 square feet
· No floor bigger than 20,000 square feet
· Highly divisible office spaces for hundreds of small businesses
· Flexible and short term leases
Our vision for Blossom Street
This is the first blog in a series of regular pieces on British Land’s Blossom Street development.
The Blossom Street site needs a future. Many of its original functions are no longer in use. The site is similar to many in our towns and cities, it needs to evolve so that – what remaining value it has – can be preserved, reused and allowed to continue to make a contribution to the local area. Our vision for Blossom Street is to regenerate this run down and disjointed group of Sites to create a scheme which builds on the character of the area and enhances the character and appearance of Elder Street Conservation Area. At the heart of the proposals is a desire to bring many vacant or underused buildings back in to economic use. Our vision from the outset has been to create an environment that caters for small and growing businesses alongside more established and mature occupiers, operating in characterful offices which appeal to the burgeoning tech and creative industries in the Spitalfields and Shoreditch area. Our involvement in this project is a direct response to our strategy to diversify our interests away from more corporate, traditional office sectors. We have a number of existing developments in the City and West End and see Blossom Street as an opportunity to develop a different office environment.
To help us achieve this we appointed a team of four award winning architects with significant experience delivering offices of this type led by AHMM, who are hugely experienced in the design of non-traditional offices in London. The look and feel of the scheme is critical – from the architecture of the buildings, to the experience at street level, the scheme needs to be authentic and not an extension of the City. You can see in the images of the development that this is not a ‘glass and steel box’. It is sensitively designed, driven by the heritage and character of the Conservation Area. The design team have responded to this challenge by designing a scheme comprising seven separate buildings linked by a series of yards and passages designed around both existing and lost historic routes and spaces of this fantastic area. We are introducing appropriate shops and restaurants at ground floor level with a very clear leasing strategy – to bring in niche and independent operators who are in keeping with what this area is all about.
The proposed development is grounded in a thorough and detailed understanding of the historic built environment in and around the site. The existing buildings and spaces of the site and its surroundings have been carefully assessed by heritage experts. The proposed development retains, refurbishes and reuses the buildings on the site that are of heritage significance. The new buildings on the site have been carefully designed to respect the retained buildings (including the locally listed buildings), the setting of nearby listed buildings and the character and appearance of the Elder Street Conservation Area. In some cases we are going further, restoring the appearance of buildings to their original form. The new development will give life to the site and the surrounding area. It will provide the older buildings of the site with a long term and sustainable future in direct terms, and will indirectly help to do the same for the conservation area. The design of the proposed development preserves and enhances the setting of listed buildings and the character and appearance of the Elder Street Conservation Area.
A central driver for the Blossom Street development and evolution of these proposals has been a belief in and commitment to the value of consultation as a mechanism for building relationships with the local community, responding responsibly to the context of the local built environment and improving design. Consultation has involved ongoing dialogue with the local community. Our programme of events, presentations and meetings were designed to inform and seek feedback on the initial and evolving designs, providing ongoing opportunities for input from residents and groups. We also sought to keep you informed on the progression of the designs and consultation activity through regular updates. In addition, we have consulted extensively with the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, the GLA, English Heritage, CABE and the local Conservation and Design Advisory Panel (CADAP). We believe the consultation has been open, transparent, and collaborative. We do believe the scheme is far better for the involvement of the local community. The discussions with the Spitalfields Community Group, Spitalfields Society, the Spitalfields Trust and the local residents have improved our plans and we thank you, again, for your time and effort during our consultation. This is the first of a number of posts we will be publishing over the next few weeks, covering all aspects of the scheme and the design process.
Planning Application submitted
British Land have submitted a planning application for Blossom Street. The application reference is PA/14/03548.
Final Public Exhibition
British Land have submitted a planning application for Blossom Street. The application reference is PA/14/03548.
The exhibition took place in the Former Nicholls & Clarke Showroom on Shoreditch High Street.
The event was an opportunity for the development team to showcase the final proposals, and to demonstrate how they had evolved over the course of the consultation process. It also provided a chance for local residents to ask questions and discuss points of interest with the team.
Copies of the exhibition boards can be found here:
Blossom Street update
Since our first round of consultation held in early summer 2014, the design team has been working on significant changes to the proposals in response to the feedback provided by local groups and residents.
We have strived to contact and involve groups with an interest in the area and local residents. We believe that our proposals have been open to meaningful public scrutiny – and the changes being made reflect that.
We have listened to the feedback we have been given and sought to address the views expressed. It is unlikely that we will be able to satisfy all competing priorities, but we are making progress.
In terms of our broad timescales, we are now looking to submit a planning application in December.
We are proposing to hold a further wider exhibition event in late October, prior to our planning submission, at which we will outline how the scheme has evolved in response to the comments received at various stages, and detail our proposed final plans for submission.
We are grateful to all of those who have taken the time to meet with us, to take part in the consultation, and provide feedback. This input is continuing to shape our plans and we look forward to meeting with those who wish to be updated on exactly how we have responded.
Please don’t hesitate to get in touch should you wish to discuss our proposals for Blossom Street further.
Public Consultation begins
Public consultation on the emerging proposals for Blossom Street began in early June this year. Two design events, focussed on allowing attendees to speak in-depth with the architects involved on the scheme, were hosted for local residents and community groups interested in planning and design. Design workshop – Monday 2nd June Adrian Penfold, British Land and Paul Monaghan, AHMM presented to all attendees, who then had the opportunity to speak with each of the architect practices involved on Blossom Street. Public Realm walkabout On Wednesday 11th June and Thursday 12th June, local residents had a second opportunity to meet the project team and public realm architect East’s Dann Jessen and Richard Hall to walk around the site and discuss the public realm. Please click here to view the feedback report from the events.
Landscape Architect on board
East, a local architecture practice, has joined the Blossom Street design team. East specialises in London-based landscape architecture projects, and works to bring spatial quality to and find new connections in its work. East looks to find new relationships between public spaces and the built environment, to enhance people’s experiences in the public realm.
East will be working closely alongside all the other architectural practices involved, and we are delighted to have them on board.
Three further architects have been appointed to work alongside the lead architect – AHMM – who has overall responsibility for the site and providing the vision for a cohesive new development. Each of the new architects will have responsibility for a particular area of the site, which will ensure there is a varied mix of architectural styles. These new appointments will give focus to these particular areas and we are delighted to have these firms on board. For more information on the architects involved, please see our team page.