London Fruit & Wool Exchange Development, Spitalfields Architecture, Buildings

London Fruit & Wool Exchange

Spitalfields Development: Building Redevelopment, UK – design by Bennetts Associates

12 Oct 2012

London Fruit & Wool Exchange Spitalfields Development


Exemplar plans to develop 300,000 sq ft of new office and retail space in the heart of the Spitalfields

Design: Bennetts Associates

London, 10 October 2012 – Proposals for the re-development of the London Fruit & Wool Exchange, and adjacent multi-storey car park, in Spitalfields have been approved by the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson.

London Fruit & Wool Exchange Spitalfields Development London Fruit & Wool Exchange Spitalfields Development
images : Miller Hare

The Mayor’s endorsement of the scheme follows his decision in June to call-in the planning application and act as the local planning authority to determine Exemplar’s application. The Mayor’s decision to use his call-in powers followed concerns about the decision taken by the London Borough of Tower Hamlets in May to reject the application, despite the Borough’s planning officers recommending that the scheme be approved.

The planning consent paves the way for the construction of the development, which will be built in a single phase and is due for completion in late 2015. Designed by architects Bennetts Associates, the development comprises 270,000 sq ft of grade A offices and SME workspace and 30,000 sq ft for shops and restaurants. The development will include London’s largest new floorplates which, at over 60,000 sq ft, could each accommodate over 1,000 people. In addition, new public spaces, areas for public art and a public walkway across the site will all be created.

The overall design concept reflects the historic context of the area and in particular the setting of Christ Church, Spitalfields.

Exemplar Director Maxwell Shand said:
“We are delighted that the Mayor has endorsed our proposals to bring about £120m of economic and social opportunity to the area by approving our plans for the London Fruit & Wool Exchange site. Our scheme will create around 3000 new jobs, public space, retail, restaurant, office and SME workspaces and build on the existing vibrancy and diversity of Spitalfields.

“With interest already being expressed in the site from prospective tenants we hope to commence work on site very soon. We will continue to work closely with local residents, businesses and stakeholders to ensure that the project benefits the wider community and creates opportunities for employment, training as well economic investment to the local area.”

Rab Bennetts of Bennetts Associates said:
“We welcome the Mayor’s decision. This is an enormously important building, both for Spitalfields and for Bennetts Associates, as it shows how a major commercial property can form the backdrop to a lively conservation area and to Hawksmoor’s Christ Church. By integrating the best of the existing building into the project, the design retains historical links with the market and adopts a form that would otherwise not have been possible.”

Designed as a predominantly brick building with stone elements, the development’s design aims to enhance the surrounding Conservation Area, introducing the contemporary architecture of the Commercial Street elevation, which consists of brick, precast concrete and metal louvres, alongside the retained main façade of the Fruit & Wool Exchange on Brushfield Street . This relationship between old and new carefully responds to the grain and texture of the surrounding architecture, in particular Nicholas Hawksmoor’s adjacent Christ Church, whilst also introducing 21st Century sustainable design solutions. The design aims to achieve a BREEAM ‘Excellent’ rating with low carbon-dioxide emissions, including green roofs and extensive use of photo-voltaic panels.

About Exemplar

Exemplar is one of London’s most active and successful property developers in central London. The award-winning privately-owned company based in Fitzrovia has worked on 25 projects totalling in excess of 4 million sq ft to date. Currently in Central London they are developing some 1.4m sq ft of projects in locations including Regent Street, St James’s Square and Fitzrovia and as such are one of the largest private property developers in London.

About Bennetts Associates

Founded in 1987, Bennetts Associates is one of the UK’s leading architectural practices, with more than 100 awards for a wide variety of projects. The firm is currently around 65 strong, with offices in London and Edinburgh. A strong team ethic, methodical approach to design and sense of enjoyment are central to an exceptional track record of consistent delivery on time and to budget. The firm is responsible for many prominent projects such as PowerGen Headquarters, the New Street Square Development in the City of London, Mint Hotels in London and Amsterdam and the Royal Shakespeare Theatre Transformation.

London Fruit & Wool Exchange Spitalfields images / information from Bennetts Associates

Bennetts Associates

Location: London Fruit & Wool Exchange, Spitalfields, London, England, UK

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