Sheppard Robson secures planning for 600,000ft² Royal Mint Court scheme

3rd August 2016

Sheppard Robson's approved plans will transform the historic 5.2 acre central London site into a campus of up to five buildings, providing modern flexible office accommodation, with significant public realm and retail facilities, enlivening the 600,000ft² development and respecting and celebrating its unique historic context.

A proposal to remodel and refurbish the former home of the Royal Mint has received planning permission from the London Borough of Tower Hamlets. The plans by clients of Delancey and the LRC Group, will offer unique state-of-the-art employment, retail and leisure space in a thriving part of the City.

The central London scheme incorporates five buildings, providing 550,000ft² of contemporary office space and 50,000ft² for shops, cafes and restaurants, together with 1.8 acres of landscaped public realm. The designs have been drawn-up by architectural practice Sheppard Robson, with architects Morrow + Lorraine appointed to sympathetically reinvigorate the historic Johnson Smirke building. The public realm will be also be designed by Morrow + Lorraine in collaboration with Spacehub.

The flexible floor-plates of the offices are designed to appeal to a wide spectrum of potential occupiers, delivering both large open plan spaces of up to 80,000ft² and smaller, more dynamic floor spaces for the creative and start-up industries. The development will be capable of accommodating in excess of 6,000 employees.

The development is a rare opportunity to stitch a prominent, yet currently under-used site, just across the road from the Tower of London and next to St Katharine Dock. The new office-led development will see the conservation and refurbishment of the historic buildings, complemented by the remodelling and refurbishment of the structures built in the 1980s. New access points and public space will bring to life the state-of-the-art infrastructure and layers of history, spanning seven centuries.

Designed to achieve an ‘Excellent’ BREEAM environmental standard, the sustainable development incorporates in excess of 1,000 bike spaces. The landscaped public courtyards will also provide flexibility for a large number of possible uses, such as retail pop-ups and seasonal events for tenants and the local community.

Local residents’ views were closely taken into account in the planning stage, following a detailed consultation process. Two public exhibitions were held, alongside regular meetings with key stakeholders, resulting in predominantly positive feedback and many residents voicing their support for the site to be brought back into use with new amenities.

Due to the scale of the site, Sheppard Robson’s starting point for the masterplan was to make the development fully accessible and to reinstate the historic setting of the Johnson Smirke centrepiece, which once resolved, guided the composition of the individual buildings and surrounding public spaces.

The masterplan for the project sought to open up the site, with two core routes designed by Sheppard Robson; these run from north-to-south and east-to-west, with the latter framing views of the Tower of London and into the heart of the development. A new route will also be created to connect St Katharine Docks with Aldgate and beyond, providing step-free access from Tower Hill Underground to the residential neighbourhoods in the east.