Nido Spitalfields
Nido Spitalfields is located in a historic part of east London bounded by three conservation areas. The site has a long and rich history as a vibrant, ethnically diverse commercial and trade centre, with Middlesex Street (formerly known as Petticoat Lane) being one of London’s most enduringly popular and well-known street markets. Apart from trade, the site has also had a long association with education. Since the early 19th century it has been the site of the Free Jewish School, in its time one of the largest primary schools in the country, with over 4,000 pupils. Following extensive bomb damage in the Second World War, the site was re-developed as an office building. However, in typical 1950s design fashion, the new office block disregarded the urban grain and caused rather brutal ruptures in the visual fabric of the area. One of the cornerstones of tp bennett’s vision for the site was the reinstatement of this urban grain and the recreation of an urban block. Another aim was to regenerate the site by providing a balanced mix of uses, contributing positively to the diversity and vitality of the area. tp bennett‘s urban regeneration strategy identified a number of key design parameters aligning the client’s and Tower Hamlets’ aspirations for the site, resulting in a student residential-led mixed use development including offices, retail and private residential components. The student residential component of the development is centred on a landmark 35-storey tower providing one of the largest student residences in London. The tower is accessed via a rejuvenated Frying Pan Alley, which has been widened to include a new and attractive urban piazza, including a richly landscaped mini-garden. The new piazza provides both an entrance to the tower and a setting for new shops along the upgraded pedestrian links between Liverpool Street Station and Spitalfields Market. A five-storey office is located at the west edge of the site in order to reinforce the visual and commercial link with the City of London. The office entrance is aligned with the Middlesex Street axis and is visible from the junction of Middlesex Street and Bishopsgate. A private residential four-storey building is located to the south, sensitively repairing the urban fabric to Strype Street and providing a link between the private apartments above a Victorian pub to the west site boundary and the more recent residential conversion to the east site boundary. Activity at ground floor level is enhanced by the introduction of shops and cafés to all principal street frontages linking the new development to the neighbouring market. The proposals also include two landscaped courtyard gardens providing outdoor relaxation space for residents. The urban massing narrative is comprised of a five-storey podium with a slender tower comprised of three main interlocking elements in a stepped architectural composition. These provide a dynamic, soaring view culminating with a spectacular three-storey high-glazed sky lounge at the top of the tower. The elevational module deploys a rich mix of blue metal, silver mesh and glazed panels, creating shimmering surfaces with a distinct visual identity. The cladding to tallest element of the tower also includes projecting silver fins providing three-dimensional texture to the tower’s skyline. In order to ensure an appropriate living environment for both under-graduate and post-graduate students, the proposals include a great variety of room types: self-contained single studios, double studios, twin apartments and cluster apartments with up to six rooms. The student residential interior design was developed as an ‘urban village’ concept integrating a variety of amenity spaces including a dynamic, double-height entrance space & ground floor lounge with roof terraces and sky lounge designed to enhance interaction and provide a balanced community for 1,200 students.


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