RSHP to transform world's largest cluster of Victorian gas holders into housing

British studio RSHP has received planning consent to build cylindrical housing blocks within Victorian gas holders at the Bromley-by-Bow Gasworks in London.

RSHP’s plans to redevelop the gasworks will include refurbishing the Grade II-listed gas holder frames, which date back to the 1870s, and building residential buildings within and around them.

Bromley-by-Bow Gasworks regeneration by RSHP
RSHP has received planning consent to redevelop the Bromley-by-Bow Gasworks site in London

The redevelopment, which was approved by the London Borough of Newham’s Strategic Development Committee, will reopen the site the the public after being inaccessible for 150 years.

RSHP’s design for the 23-acre Bromley-by-Bow Gasworks site, home of the biggest collection of Victorian gas holders anywhere in the world, unlocks one of the most technically complex regeneration areas in the Lower Lea Valley,” said the studio.

Bromley-by-Bow Gasworks regeneration
Cylindrical housing will be built within the Victorian gas holders

“The experience of being close to these majestic structures, inaccessible for so long and which sit centre-stage within this unique mixed-use development, will now be available to all,” added RSHP associate partner Andy Bryce.

“The proposal will create a lasting and meaningful legacy for Londoners that extends far beyond the site.”

RSHP gasworks redevelopment
Taller residential towers will be built on the edges of the Bromley-by-Bow Gasworks site

Two building typologies will be built on the brownfield site. Seven gas holder buildings rising from four to 10 storeys tall will be located inside each of the existing gas holder frames.

Six slimmer cylindrical buildings, ranging from 15 to 33 storeys tall, will also be built at the edges of the site.

The 13 residential buildings will have faceted exteriors decorated with vertical strips of colour.

“Form, height and material characteristics of the proposed buildings within the gas holders take their cues from the frames themselves, preserving their memorable image, silhouetted against the sky as icons of an industrial past,” said the studio

Gas holder conversion
The Grade II-listed gas holders will be preserved and refurbished

A water feature will be added to the centre of the site, set within the footprint of a former gas holder that was destroyed during world war two.

One of the gas holders’ substructures will be relocated next to the water feature and used as a community hub, aiming to provide additional public space that is connected to a park by pedestrian and cycle paths.

Community hub in a gas holder substructure
The substructure of one of the gas holders will be reused as a community hub

“The proposal will create a new neighbourhood for east London within a unique urban composition, sited within an extensive riverside park,” said RSHP senior director Graham Stirk.

“The project creates a fantastic place for people to live and work, as well as a new leisure destination for all.”

Construction is planned to commence in 2025, following the finalisation of a Section 106 planning agreement.

Other projects involving some of London’s gas holders include WilkinsonEyre’s conversion of three Victorian gas holders into luxury apartments and Avanton’s proposal to build an alligator park within a gas holder structure.

The images are courtesy of RSHP.

Project credits:

Architect: RSHP
Development manager: St William Homes
Structural engineer: Ramboll
Mechanical, electrical and plumbing engineer: Ramboll
Landscape architect: Gillespies
Community consultation: Iceni
Planning consultants: Quod
Heritage and townscape: Montagu Evans

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