The Silk District Development

Project name: 
The Silk District Development
Project category: 
Dearneside Fabrications Ltd
Project location: 
United Kingdom

Landmark Regional Scheme in East London. The Silk District will transform a former Safestore facility into a new urban quarter, with 30% of the site dedicated to new public realm.

The scheme, which includes a large proportion of family homes alongside 3,500sqm of commercial space, is a fundamental piece of Whitechapel’s vision for regeneration. Straddling two nearby conservation areas, the design concept focuses on connectivity and permeability, introducing new pedestrianised streets and squares. The predominantly brick and reconstituted stone design creates strong street-based frontages to the existing urban context, while a glass and aluminium-clad tower stands at the heart of the scheme, enhancing the future townscape of Whitechapel.

620 new homes – 152 of which will be affordable housing – and commercial space including flexible office space for SMEs, shops, a gym and a cafe sit around a new public square and landscaped walking routes. Whitechapel’s urban assets are particularly strong: its heritage, its market, its community and culture.

Stockwool Architects have integrated a number of key principles into the scheme such as pedestrian routes linking into surrounding streets, encouraging movement through the site – visual connectivity through the site became increasingly key to doing this. As a result, the scheme addresses surrounding streets with new low-rise streetscape, creating a significant open space within the heart of the development and positions the tallest elements setback within the site to minimise its impact on the surrounding context.

The Mount Anvil and L&Q development will comprise of 3 blocks ranging from 4 to 25 storeys.

What were the challenges and what made the project successful?

The balconies within the Tekla Structures model incorporate numerous elements including mild steel, composite decking, integral uplighter features and aluminium soffit cladding. All items are within one model with the relevant information being distributed for fabrication and procurement both in house and to external suppliers. The model has been phased in balcony ‘stacks’ to suit to installation requirements of the balconies.

Dearneside Fabrications Ltd have secured the balcony package with TGM Facades. This latest contract cements Dearneside’s reputation as the leading “Architectural Metalwork Company” operating in London today.

What benefits did utilizing BIM and Tekla software bring to the project?

Dearneside Fabrications Ltd has a state of the art PythonX robotic CNC plasma cutting system, which utilises Tekla NC files, this integration of technology with machinery has increased factory production and accuracy. The model has been phased to suit to installation requirements of the balconies. Transport logistics and lifting rigs have been integrated in the Tekla Structures model to confirm the centre of gravity lifting points and transport loading techniques.


The project in numbers

  • Balconies = 97
  • Tonnage = 107t in total
107t total