25 May 2021

New Case Study: The Republic Masterplan

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Timber is not a material commonly used in large-scale office refurbishments in central London, but the Republic Masterplan at East India Dock demonstrates how it can successfully transform a couple of tired 1990s office blocks into high quality sustainable and affordable workspaces and help to create a green, relaxing and biodiverse landscape around them.


East India Dock, built in the 1800s for ships laden with tea, silks and exotic spices from the east, closed in the 1960s and was developed in the late 1980s as commercial office space expanded into London’s dockland. In the original development, two stone-clad office buildings faced each other across a busy access road and the last remnant of the dock waterway. Inside, ten storeys of office space surrounded a dull concrete-lined atrium with a glazed roof.


The masterplan by architect Studio RHE has created a remarkable transformation; the space between the two office buildings is now a traffic-free walkway with a boardwalk avenue of trees, plants and seating. At its centre is the original dock waterway, now enlivened with water features and aquatic plants; canopied timber pavilions used for flexible outdoor work or meeting spaces extend over the water.


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