The four-storey Hertsmere House office building in London's Docklands has been demolished to accommodate a soaring 67-storey skyscraper by Chinese development giant Greenland Group. Tower Hamlets’ Strategic Development Committee has reluctantly given the green light to the 240.5-metre proposal, which will become the tallest residential tower in Western Europe upon completion.
The new Hertsmere House, an HOK-designed trefoil-shaped building, will include 861 market rate and affordable residences. The tower features commercial units and cafes at ground level, 900 square metres of communal children's play space, and a series of amenity pavilions containing landscaped gardens and terraces. Refined, greenery-filled public spaces at the base of the tower will provide a welcoming entryway into the modern glass building.
An additional 60 affordable housing units will be provided at a separate site in east London's Limehouse district. Greenland Group is making a $27.2 million contribution to Tower Hamlets, plus an additional $30.1 million community contribution through the Community Infrastructure Levy and Section 106 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990.
The site at 2 Hertsmere Road falls within the West India Dock Conservation Area, a district rich in heritage buildings. Neighbouring residents spoke in solidarity with Canary Wharf Group, the Museum of London Docklands, and Credit Suisse, who all objected to the project. They cited density, height, shadowing, and the building's relationship with its historical surroundings as their chief concerns. While the committee heard these comments loud and clear, planning permission for another tower — approved by Mayor Boris Johnson despite its rejection by Tower Hamlets councillors in 2010 — already existed. The councillors feared that plan, which lacked sufficient community contributions and affordable housing units, would be resurrected if the current incarnation was sidelined.
Greenland hopes to begin construction later this year with delivery tentatively anticipated in 2020. Additional images and information can be found in the Database file linked below. Want to get involved in the discussion? Check out the associated Forum thread or leave a comment at the bottom of this page.