Report - - 1 Commercial Street, Aldgate, London - May & August 2010. | High Stuff | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - 1 Commercial Street, Aldgate, London - May & August 2010.


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Site: 1 Commercial Street, Aldgate, London.

Status: On Hold

Project Description: The scheme includes high specification offices, a mid-budget hotel with significant public areas, retail stores, the upgrading of the Underground Station, servicing areas, and basement car parking.

John Seifert Architects has just released its latest successful scheme to pass through London’s planning process. The new scheme has an exciting location with its prime frontages on Whitechapel High Street and Commercial Street. This area is identified as one that will radically change as the City of London expands eastwards in part as a reaction to Canary Wharf.

This site represents an important corner location in the area, with long and short distance views along the high streets. Using this corner to its full potential, JSA has created a contemporary focus building that maintains a sensitive relationship to its surrounding area.

The building envelope is light and contemporary, with the design sculptural. To maximise the dramatics of the corner site, John Seifert Architects commissioned two artists who specialise in light sculpture to refine the light element on the glass fin adjacent to the entrance. This will produce a fine and sculptural light form and emphasise this important focus as a ‘blade of light’.

By creating a landmark development of quality and identity with a better mix of uses, JSA’s design will help create new job opportunities and stimulate local pride in the vicinity. Once the project has been completed it will share in the overall regeneration and improved perception of this area, spreading east from the City into Tower Hamlets. During the day, there is currently an obvious lack of public open space in this area. Fully conscious of the detrimental impact of this to the local urban culture, John Seifert Architects has ensured that the new proposal takes into account issues of public life and addresses them through well-considered and well-researched new urban design.

In many ways the current state of the site is typical of post war development, being generally inappropriate and playing second fiddle to the road network. The current pedestrian subway system in the area is based on outdated thinking and does not recognise the public’s preference for moving around safely at street level.

The new development sees a healthy mix of uses being created in the area. The development is above the main entrance to Aldgate East underground station and with main bus routes adjacent, it acts as a minor transport interchange. There is a significant opportunity to increase employment generation on this site with prospects for local employment particularly with the hotel and retail uses.

John Seifert Architects are delighted that the scheme has won planning permission, and are keen to see a dramatic regeneration of this eastern city gateway.


Architect: John Seifert Architects Ltd
Source: John Seifert Architects Ltd | In attendance: Forsaken & mito

Following in kevin arnold's footsteps, me and mito climbed the tower crane in May. After waiting patiently for a gap in traffic, we were in. The tower crane is hideously exposed to the neighbouring hotel and we were being watched on the accent by a guest at his window. Soon we were away from prieying eyes and high above the junction of Whitechapel Road and Commercial Road. This tower crane primarily offers a panormaic view of The City. I later returned in August with a new telephoto lens after my original targets for the night were both called off due to construction workers still being on site at 02:00.

01. Constructed from 2005 to 2009, Broadgate Tower stands at 164 metres (538 ft):

02. Christ Church, Spitalfields is an Anglican church built between 1714 and 1729 to a design by Nicholas Hawksmoor:

03. 2.5 miles (4.0 km) to the east, Canary Wharf:

04. Close to a ''Hey, I can see my car from here'' shot, I was parked behind the Ford:

05. No matter how many photographs I attempted (this being the sixth attempt), the worker in the desert combats just wouldn't stay still:

06. 30 St Mary Axe & Tower 42:

07. I never tire of views towards The City cluster:

08. The first night Heron Tower's aircraft warning light was in operation:

09: The Willis Building at 51 Lime Street & the Lloyd's building:

Thanks for looking. More photographs to follow from mito.



28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Another fun building site to add to the list. Nice unobstructed views into the city and an entertaining access, as we climbed the crane we went up past some hotel windows, fat man getting changed, not quite what I was there to see. For most of the time we sat on the counterweights. Forsaken had the good side first,


So I took pictures of the less interesting stuff...



Then I had my turn, a quick fisheye of the city,


and then decided to get a panorama done. Very inconsiderately the sun decided to rise as I was getting near the end of this so theres another section to the right that I've cropped off.


21meg full version

Then, I visit the crows-nest, the sun further rearing it's ugly head and me being consicious of the fact we needed to get out soon I just banged out a few quick handheld shots from up there.



Forsaken, still sat on the counterweights below, requests a picture with him in it. Here you go mate...



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