Proposals would update Festival of Britain Exhibition of Architecture-era east London precinct

Plans to regenerate part of east London’s post-war architectural heritage with 650 new homes and around 20,000m2 of new retail space have been submitted to Tower Hamlets Council.

Architect Sheppard Robson’s scheme for Chrisp Street Market, in Poplar, would introduce a new 25-storey apartment block to the area, as well as a new shops, affordable workspace, and a new marketplace and canopy.

Drawn up for housing association Poplar HARCA and housebuilder Telford Homes, the scheme will also see the extension of the area’s Idea Store library, the creation of a new cinema, and a new public square.

The current Chrisp Street Market was designed in part by Frederick Gibberd and built as part of the Festival of Britain Exhibition of Architecture in 1951.

Sheppard Robson said its proposals would keep the “pioneering pedestrian retail precinct” to the north side of the market, along with the housing above, but bring in “a mix of residential, retail and cultural facilities positioned around improved and enlarged public spaces”.

It said the scheme’s perimeter buildings had been designed to engage with the surrounding streets, and that a series of private and public podium-garden courtyards would integrate retail at ground level with residential units above.

Sheppard Robson partner Dan Burr said Chrisp Street had innovation in its foundations, with the original Frederick Gibberd design sustaining the market for the last 65 years.

“Continuing this spirit of boldness, we wanted our proposals to be the next phase of exemplar urban design in the area, giving the market a new lease of life through enhanced community facilities,” he said.

“The fundamental challenge of the project was to weave together a broad mix of uses, carefully choreographing a sequence of urban spaces that are defined by a rich mix of architectural forms.”

Sheppard Robson’s Chrisp Street proposals

Sheppard Robson’s proposals for Chrisp Street Market, in east London