Building in cities like London requires a design imagination capable of blending the old with the new. This is especially true of mixed-use project Bethnal Green, which sees the derelict Old Duke of Cambridge pub converted into a residential property.
The site proposal sits on a light industrial area, a stone’s throw from Denys Lasdun’s Keeling House, next to Cambridge Heath train station. Well received at a public consultation event, the scheme will include 217 apartments, restaurants and commercial spaces, its use of hit-and-miss brickwork and reglit glazing ensuring that the regenerative new merges with the generationally old. A veritable protective hand, the curving brick façade shields its inhabitants from the busy Hackney Road and from the railway line, while the angle of the green roof is designed to suck light down into the building’s innards.
Possessing an exceptional design quality and beautifully complementing the its surroundings in terms of look, feel and scale, tipping its hat to the past, while at the same providing more than a hint of what’s to come, it’s a building with a real feel for the story of a city.