Norton Folgate Almshouses

The sensitive upgrading and extension of a pair of 1860’s almshouses owned by Christchurch in Spitalfields, to improve a long established but somewhat frayed social housing scheme.

We worked with Tower Hamlets Community Housing and Newton Folgate Almshouses Trust, to create four new 2-bedroom social housing units, utilising a previously underused portion of the tight urban site.

The existing buildings are constructed of simple but beautiful aged stock brickwork. The new extensions are of a markedly different but complementary form and external finish. New green oak feather-edge boarding and terne-coated steel roof cladding reflect the tradition of timber weatherboarded buildings in this part of East London and harmonise with the slate roofs of the original almshouses.

“The applicants have shown how a scheme like this, extending two important listed buildings, can be at least as successful as the original building itself. Modifications have been introduced with such skilfulness, care and consideration as to comprise an exemplary example of development within the historic realm.”

Tower Hamlets Conservation Officer

Photography by Morgan O’Donovan