HOUSING SCHEME ON MILE END WAREHOUSE SITE
Architect Jonathan Freegard had observed this crumbling warehouse site next to his offices and home in Tredegar Square, Mile End, for over 20 years. He had originally wanted to purchase it for his own firm’s use as a workspace but when he eventually tracked down the owner and found she did not want to sell, he came up with other ideas for her to develop the site.
With the added value clear from the outset it took little persuading to get her to pursue the suggested scheme. But she had never built anything previoiusly and the architects had to guide her through the development process step-by-step to eventual completion.
The original warehouse dated from the 1870s and ran along the backs of the gardens of the houses on the south side of this typical late Georgian square. It had been bomb damaged in WW2, little used for 20 years and was in a very dilapidated condition.
The scheme that gained planning consent in 2015 and completed last year provides a mixture of eight 2- and 3-bedroom houses and replicates the form of the warehouse but is cut away on the south side to make room for private gardens.
A garden courtyard at each end of the site gives access to three houses while a fourth house has direct access to the street with a wheelchair accessible garage. In addition to the small private gardens in each courtyard, the four larger houses all have south-facing in-set roof terraces at 2nd floor level off a master bedroom. These are completely private and give fine views over the rooftops and in many cases the occupiers have chosen to make this room their living room.
Because of restrictions on having windows on the north party-wall boundary, small lightwells were formed with windows opening onto them, providing natural light and cross-ventilation.
Internally the halls, stairs and living rooms have oak flooring with under-floor heating. The composite triple-glazed windows are pine internally and powder-coated aluminium externally.
The scheme is rated Level 4 under the Code for Sustainable Homes with solar roof panels, heat recovery ventilation systems and rainwater harvesting. All lighting is LED. The bricks from the warehouse were reused for the external cladding.
Historical Note on Tredegar Square and warehouse site.
Tredegar Square was buillt between 1822 and 1830 and is considered to be the jewel of the East End garden squares. The warehouse was built to completely fill the mews that had originally provided a ‘night soil’ collection route after the main sewers were installed in the early 1870s. Its east gable wall and roof were destroyed by a bomb in 1943 and the gable was rebuilt in Fletton bricks1-bay back from the street leaving a yard. The slate roof was replaced with an asbestos one on steel trusses.
The layout of the scheme was inspired by a Victorian row of cottages called Bellevue Place just along Mile End Road where a small doorway in a high wall gives access to eleven houses in a ‘secret garden’ setting.
Jonathan Freegard Architects specialise in both new buildings and refurbishments in environmentally sensitive areas. Their residential portfolio includes many substantial refurbishments with extensions to houses in North London, often in Conservation Areas or to Listed buildings. New houses have ranged from East Anglia to India.
Recent awards won by the practice include The Graham Allen Commendation for Design and Conservation from The North Norfolk District Council and a CPRE Design Award both for a residential project in Norfolk.
Jonathan Freegard who heads the practice has been a design consultant to the National Trust for their development sites and is a member of the Conservation and Design Advisory Panel at Tower Hamlets. He worked originally for Powell and Moya Architects and then spent ten years with MacCormac, Jamieson & Prichard, latterly as an associate, before setting up his own practice in 1989.
Location: 65 Tredegar Square London E3 5AE
Attachments: 6 External photos of finished project
4 Internal photos of finished project
1 ground floor site plan
1 Photo of Bellvue Place, London E1
For further information contact: Jonathan Freegard
Tel: 020 8981 5665
mobile 07703 314 179