This invited competition proposal explores estate regeneration options for Wheler House, a 1920’s red brick estate in Tower Hamlets, east London. Twenty new homes are created with a series of rooftop additions, mews houses and two five-storey blocks. The new blocks feature curved bays that relate to the existing building’s balconies and they are finished in a complementary terracotta colour.
A secure entrance with bicycle and bin stores is created and site boundaries are better defined. Accessibility is improved with new lifts and upgraded circulation to the existing buildings.
The rooftop addition is limited to a single storey to avoid the need for disruptive underpinning. New amenities at roof level include a basketball court, winter gardens and allotments.
Sustainability considerations include CLT construction to new elements to reduce embodied energy, improved air tightness, a new highly insulated roof structure and higher levels of glazing to south facing façades to maximise solar gain.
“When done well, estate regeneration can offer existing tenants and leaseholders better homes, more market and affordable housing, and improvements to the local environment.” – The Mayor’s Guide to Estate Regeneration
Becky Wootton, Matt McKenna, Raphael Arthur
Tower Hamlets, East London