Brick Lane Public Realm

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The Brick Lane area is one of Tower Hamlets’ most historic neighbourhoods and Banglatown is a symbol of the East End’s diversity and dynamism. Work began in 2017 to seek funding for much-needed investment to make Brick Lane a more attractive and enjoyable place to live, work and visit.

Our High Streets and Town Centres team has developed a series of proposals speaking to residents, businesses, visitors, councillors and landowners. Working with urban designers, architects, artists and lighting designers to develop a range of street improvements along Brick Lane, the proposals will help:

Improve signage and wayfinding, including renaming Osborn Street, to help promote footfall in the southern section of Brick Lane and links to Whitechapel

Create a welcoming and visually appealing streetscape, particularly in the ‘central area’ between Wentworth Street and Fashion Street

To help improve air quality by adding urban greening and places to rest for visitors

Improvements to pavements to make walking and cycling safer

To enhance the identity of the area, drawing on the connection with textiles as well as its diverse local communities

Highlight Brick Lane’s historic buildings using architectural lighting

We are inviting local businesses, residents, stakeholders and visitors to comment on these detailed design proposals before we can progress to delivery in early 2021.

We particularly want to invite suggestions and comments about improvements to the Banglatown Arch, as the structure is in need of extensive repair and we need to refurbish it or replace it.

The arch is an important entry point to Brick Lane and something many people feel passionate about.

PROPOSALS

Area-wide improvements

Overground Bridge and Allen Gardens link

Area around Fashion Street, Chicksand Street and Hopetown Street

Banglatown Arch, Osborn Street and Middlesex Street Art Trail


Have your say on the proposals in this survey by Sunday 29 November 2020

The Brick Lane area is one of Tower Hamlets’ most historic neighbourhoods and Banglatown is a symbol of the East End’s diversity and dynamism. Work began in 2017 to seek funding for much-needed investment to make Brick Lane a more attractive and enjoyable place to live, work and visit.

Our High Streets and Town Centres team has developed a series of proposals speaking to residents, businesses, visitors, councillors and landowners. Working with urban designers, architects, artists and lighting designers to develop a range of street improvements along Brick Lane, the proposals will help:

Improve signage and wayfinding, including renaming Osborn Street, to help promote footfall in the southern section of Brick Lane and links to Whitechapel

Create a welcoming and visually appealing streetscape, particularly in the ‘central area’ between Wentworth Street and Fashion Street

To help improve air quality by adding urban greening and places to rest for visitors

Improvements to pavements to make walking and cycling safer

To enhance the identity of the area, drawing on the connection with textiles as well as its diverse local communities

Highlight Brick Lane’s historic buildings using architectural lighting

We are inviting local businesses, residents, stakeholders and visitors to comment on these detailed design proposals before we can progress to delivery in early 2021.

We particularly want to invite suggestions and comments about improvements to the Banglatown Arch, as the structure is in need of extensive repair and we need to refurbish it or replace it.

The arch is an important entry point to Brick Lane and something many people feel passionate about.

PROPOSALS

Area-wide improvements

Overground Bridge and Allen Gardens link

Area around Fashion Street, Chicksand Street and Hopetown Street

Banglatown Arch, Osborn Street and Middlesex Street Art Trail


Have your say on the proposals in this survey by Sunday 29 November 2020

  • Area-wide improvements

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    22 Oct 2020

    Architectural Lighting

    We want to make the area feel safer at night and illuminate key landmarks in the area to improve wayfinding. Architectural lighting can be used on historic buildings and railway bridges that cross Brick Lane. Key locations include the Overground bridge, Brick Lane Mosque and Christ Church Primary School. We will also floodlight some mature trees and artworks on gable walls.

    Totems + Legible London

    We will be refurbishing the existing stainless steel totems with upgraded lighting and clear glass front panels to make them less vulnerable to graffiti and stickers. We will also be installing 6 Legible London totems at key entry and junction points along Brick Lane.

    Colourful crossings

    We would like to install artist-designed crossings based on the area’s weaving and textile traditions at key crossing points. This will give greater priority to pedestrians and help create strong visual connections at key junctions. We have been working closely with Tower Hamlets’ Liveable Streets team to make sure the Brick Lane improvements fit within the Council’s wider objectives of encouraging safer sustainable transport.

    Parklets

    At key locations along Brick Lane we would like to install planters and specifically designed seating that discourages antisocial behaviour. The planters need to be lifted above the pavement as the ground beneath is heavily constrained by cables and pipe routes. These planters will be large enough to contain mid-size trees with tall stems, ather than low-level shrubs which could encourage drug and weapon concealment. They will be located in place of existing short-term parking bays.

    Have your say on the proposals in this survey by Sunday 29 November 2020

    Architectural Lighting

    We want to make the area feel safer at night and illuminate key landmarks in the area to improve wayfinding. Architectural lighting can be used on historic buildings and railway bridges that cross Brick Lane. Key locations include the Overground bridge, Brick Lane Mosque and Christ Church Primary School. We will also floodlight some mature trees and artworks on gable walls.

    Totems + Legible London

    We will be refurbishing the existing stainless steel totems with upgraded lighting and clear glass front panels to make them less vulnerable to graffiti and stickers. We will also be installing 6 Legible London totems at key entry and junction points along Brick Lane.

    Colourful crossings

    We would like to install artist-designed crossings based on the area’s weaving and textile traditions at key crossing points. This will give greater priority to pedestrians and help create strong visual connections at key junctions. We have been working closely with Tower Hamlets’ Liveable Streets team to make sure the Brick Lane improvements fit within the Council’s wider objectives of encouraging safer sustainable transport.

    Parklets

    At key locations along Brick Lane we would like to install planters and specifically designed seating that discourages antisocial behaviour. The planters need to be lifted above the pavement as the ground beneath is heavily constrained by cables and pipe routes. These planters will be large enough to contain mid-size trees with tall stems, ather than low-level shrubs which could encourage drug and weapon concealment. They will be located in place of existing short-term parking bays.

    Have your say on the proposals in this survey by Sunday 29 November 2020

  • Overground Bridge and Allen Gardens link

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    22 Oct 2020

    Overground Bridge Lighting

    The Overground bridge crossing is quite gloomy at night and we would like to illuminate it using projectors to throw light on its underside. This will create a pattern of lighting ‘threads’ running across the street to reflect the area’s long association with the textile industry, but the lenses of these projectors are adaptable and could also be used to celebrate specific events or changing themes over time.

    Allen Gardens / Pedley St Link

    We have been working with an artist and designer to develop new colourful pavement graphics that are based on the area’s long-standing weaving tradition. We will also be tidying up the scruffy planting and installing a more attractive fence along the railway edge and upgrading lighting to make this link to the Gardens feel more obvious, uplifting and safe.

    Have your say on the proposals in this survey by Sunday 29 November 2020

    Overground Bridge Lighting

    The Overground bridge crossing is quite gloomy at night and we would like to illuminate it using projectors to throw light on its underside. This will create a pattern of lighting ‘threads’ running across the street to reflect the area’s long association with the textile industry, but the lenses of these projectors are adaptable and could also be used to celebrate specific events or changing themes over time.

    Allen Gardens / Pedley St Link

    We have been working with an artist and designer to develop new colourful pavement graphics that are based on the area’s long-standing weaving tradition. We will also be tidying up the scruffy planting and installing a more attractive fence along the railway edge and upgrading lighting to make this link to the Gardens feel more obvious, uplifting and safe.

    Have your say on the proposals in this survey by Sunday 29 November 2020

  • Area around Fashion Street, Chicksand Street and Hopetown Street

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    22 Oct 2020

    The central area of Brick Lane around the Health Centre, Flower and Dean Estate and Chicksand Estate is particularly important to us. There are fewer historic buildings in this section and the change in architectural character ‘interrupts’ the good quality historic street frontages of the north and south ends of the street. We are planning a range of townscape enhancements to make this section of Brick Lane more welcoming and uplifting.

    Frontage upgrades

    We would like to carry out some redecoration of the Flower and Dean frontage to make this more colourful and break-up the long white balcony railings and dark brickwork. We would also like to encourage Estate residents to plant hanging baskets to brighten-up this facade. We think this, combined with parklets this could transform this part of the street into a ‘green pocket’ which is more welcoming and healthier for both residents and visitors.

    Gable ends and entrances

    The blank, dark brick gable walls on the corners of Chicksand and Hopetown Street, along with the unsightly security gates and screens convey a negative view of the area. We have been working with an artist to develop murals based on traditional Bangladeshi dress and the Mela festival to design large murals for these walls. These, along with new security gates, railings and more thoughtful lighting would be much more attractive while still providing adequate security.

    Have your say on the proposals in this survey by Sunday 29 November 2020

    The central area of Brick Lane around the Health Centre, Flower and Dean Estate and Chicksand Estate is particularly important to us. There are fewer historic buildings in this section and the change in architectural character ‘interrupts’ the good quality historic street frontages of the north and south ends of the street. We are planning a range of townscape enhancements to make this section of Brick Lane more welcoming and uplifting.

    Frontage upgrades

    We would like to carry out some redecoration of the Flower and Dean frontage to make this more colourful and break-up the long white balcony railings and dark brickwork. We would also like to encourage Estate residents to plant hanging baskets to brighten-up this facade. We think this, combined with parklets this could transform this part of the street into a ‘green pocket’ which is more welcoming and healthier for both residents and visitors.

    Gable ends and entrances

    The blank, dark brick gable walls on the corners of Chicksand and Hopetown Street, along with the unsightly security gates and screens convey a negative view of the area. We have been working with an artist to develop murals based on traditional Bangladeshi dress and the Mela festival to design large murals for these walls. These, along with new security gates, railings and more thoughtful lighting would be much more attractive while still providing adequate security.

    Have your say on the proposals in this survey by Sunday 29 November 2020

  • Banglatown Arch, Osborn Street and Middlesex Street Art Trail

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    22 Oct 2020

    Middlesex Street Art Trail

    An Art Trail is being developed that will extend from Bishopsgate and Middlesex Street to Wentworth Street and Brick Lane to draw people in from the City. This will identify key local artworks and important historical and cultural locations such as the Petticoat Lane markets. Some elements of the Brick Lane enhancement project will become elements in the Art Trail.

    Renaming of Osborn St

    Through discussion with local people, the Council would like to re-name Osborn Street as Lower Brick Lane and we would welcome your views on this. This will help visitors navigate through the area as most people think of this short stretch of street as Brick Lane already. This will help strengthen Brick Lane’s connection to Whitechapel High Street and be much clearer for visitors on area maps.

    The Arch

    The existing arch is in poor structural condition and is in need of redecoration. One option would be to repair and redecorate the existing structure and reinstate lighting that no longer works.

    Have your say on the proposals in this survey by Sunday 29 November 2020

    Middlesex Street Art Trail

    An Art Trail is being developed that will extend from Bishopsgate and Middlesex Street to Wentworth Street and Brick Lane to draw people in from the City. This will identify key local artworks and important historical and cultural locations such as the Petticoat Lane markets. Some elements of the Brick Lane enhancement project will become elements in the Art Trail.

    Renaming of Osborn St

    Through discussion with local people, the Council would like to re-name Osborn Street as Lower Brick Lane and we would welcome your views on this. This will help visitors navigate through the area as most people think of this short stretch of street as Brick Lane already. This will help strengthen Brick Lane’s connection to Whitechapel High Street and be much clearer for visitors on area maps.

    The Arch

    The existing arch is in poor structural condition and is in need of redecoration. One option would be to repair and redecorate the existing structure and reinstate lighting that no longer works.

    Have your say on the proposals in this survey by Sunday 29 November 2020