Examining the architectural inspiration behind London’s Tower Hamlets

  • 7 Nov 2014

Ensign court is a mixed use development for 65 new homes

Ensign Court is a residential mixed-use development for 65 new homes in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets. The site neighbours the Wilton Music Hall Conservation Area to the east, city fringe to the west and completes the southern end of an urban block that spans between the historic Cable Street and The Highway.

Its position along The Highway, a major east-west route into central London defines the building as a prominent marker, and announces the beginning of the city’s urban character. The scheme seeks to enhance the existing local community by delivering an integrated, high quality development that takes advantage of its remarkable location.

Ensign Court is a corner building defined by a 14 storey tower, the massing follows the perimeter of the site boundary, stepping down on either side to knit into the grain of the adjacent Dock Street and Ensign Street.

The scheme aims to deliver a high quality development in a desirable area

At ground floor, set within a chamfered concrete plinth, commercial units are sheltered under a first floor cantilever, creating a special character and identity to this prominent commercial space. Ensign Court is a sustainable development providing an on-site energy centre and homes achieving Code for Sustainable Homes level 4.

As a counterpoint to the busy streetscape, the proposals provide generous communal amenity space by way of a protected podium courtyard creating a soft buffer between new and existing buildings and an enclosed roof garden adding a 15th storey to the corner tower. In addition, generous inset balconies are provided throughout the development.

The formal, robust appearance of Ensign Court is derived from the historic industrial East London context such as the old warehouses of the docks that can still be seen in St Katherine’s Docks, Wapping or north towards Whitechapel. The language of the building is composed of four primal tectonic elements; deep horizontal reconstituted stone banding, in-filled with richly textured, light solid brick walls, full height windows with fully integrated vents and finally, Juliet and balustrade railings used throughout.

All four elements are layered between the deeply etched concrete bands which wrap around and unite the stepped massing, creating a richly articulated façade. Defined by a strong urban grid, Ensign Court compliments the neighbouring context while recognising the potential and future development of the area.

Leave a Reply

Latest news

Nationwide Windows

Nationwide launch next generation GRP fire door range

Nationwide Windows & Doors has devoted time, clever product design and testing at levels never previously seen to launch its next generation GRP fire door range.

Posted in Access Control & Door Entry Systems, Articles, Building Industry News, Building Products & Structures, Doors, Health & Safety, Innovations & New Products, Retrofit & Renovation, Security and Fire Protection, Windows


2020 weather data proves humidity concern for construction say Aggreko

Data showing spiking humidity levels on construction sites are a growing concern for the sector, according to a new report from temporary power company, Aggreko.

Posted in Articles, Building Industry News, Building Services, Facility Management & Building Services, Health & Safety, Heating Systems, Controls and Management, Information Technology, Posts, Research & Materials Testing, Site Preparation, Thermal Imaging and Monitors


Kingspan chosen for affordable housing scheme

Leading housing provider Stonewater is taking full advantage of the excellent thermal efficiency of Kingspan Kooltherm K108 Cavity Board at a new affordable housing development in Dorset.

Posted in Articles, Building Industry News, Building Products & Structures, Building Services, Case Studies, Insulation, Restoration & Refurbishment, Retrofit & Renovation, Walls


The Power of Many: national supply, local service from Freefoam

Freefoam has strong ties with contractors, architects and specifiers, thanks to its ‘The Power of Many’ approach.

Posted in Articles, Building Industry News, Building Products & Structures, Cladding, Posts, Restoration & Refurbishment, Retrofit & Renovation, Roofs, Walls