Compact Housing, Tower Hamlets — London

Brook Henderson Estates

Holloway Squire Partnership

5th Studio were architects for a major new residential building on a constrained urban infill site in East London, opposite the listed Bow Quarter (the former Bryant + May Match Factory). Careful planning and typological innovation enabled the scheme to create 47 dwellings on the site – equivalent to a density of 470 dwellings per hectare (1370 habitable rooms), a relatively high density in relation to the adjacent Fairfield Road Conservation Area.

The design accommodated a wide range of different dwelling types in order to create the diversity and quality demanded by the developer, as well as meeting the policy requirements of the planning authority. These ranged from large 5-bed houses with gardens – part of the on-site provision of affordable housing – through more convential flat types, to a series of high end interlocking penthouse maisonettes on the upper floors.

An overview of the variety of dwelling types: the design prioritises diversity and particularity rather than repetition, including a series of interlocking maisonette penthouse units

These typologies are carefully configured to work with a single central lift and stair core, within a volume that responds to the sensitivities of overlooking and overshadowing, whilst also creating a building with a decorum appropriate to its location opposite the listed buildings and conservation area of the Match Factory.

Following a successful planning application on behalf of Brook Henderson Estates, the site was sold and the project was subsequently delivered by Aitch Group / BLA Architects.



Unit 14
21 Wren Street
London WC1X 0HF
t +44 (0)20 7837 7221
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Gwydir Street
Cambridge CB1 2LJ
t +44 (0)1223 516009
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2 King Edward Street
Oxford OX1 4HS
t +44 (0)1865 684004
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We actively encourage qualified applicants who are Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic, disabled, female and LGBTQIA+ as these groups are under-represented throughout the built environment professions.