Shoreditch To Get Runty Version Of New York's Highline In New Goodsyard Plan

By M@ Last edited 63 months ago

Last Updated 06 March 2019

Shoreditch To Get Runty Version Of New York's Highline In New Goodsyard Plan

This could be Manhattan.

The raised highwalk, ring of skyscrapers, railway graffiti and barrel-shaped water tank are all suggestive of New York. But this is Shoreditch in a few years' time... if £1 billion plans for the Bishopsgate Goodsyard site are approved.

Just us, or does this look like an aircraft carrier?
The site plan. The tall end rubs up against Shoreditch High Street, while the short end kisses Brick Lane.

The scheme, by Hammerson and Ballymore, is clustered around Shoreditch Overground station and would stretch as far as Brick Lane. This is land that has remained semi-derelict since the 1960s, save for BoxPark and some football pitches.

An old railway viaduct runs parallel to the tracks. This will be transformed into a pedestrian walkway and park, like a truncated version of New York's much-imitated High Line.

Wait, where did that chimney come from?
We're getting a bit bored of writing 'London's answer to the High Line', but this seems to be the closest match yet.

BoxPark will go. In it's place, a series of mid-rise towers will pack in 500 new homes and 1.4 million sq ft of office space. We can, of course, also expect the usual run of artisan coffee shops and trendy food outlets.

A big red steel building, which we rather like, but suspect we'd be shouted at for expressing such a view, so we'll just hide it here.
The largest block is sure to divide opinion. Monstrosity or bold, landmark architecture?

If the blocks look a little heavy-handed, then it's worth remembering that the scheme has been downsized from the former plans (which themselves were revised from an earlier scheme... this has been dragging on for years). The earlier plans came in for sharp criticism from local residents and the GLA. Spitalfields Life opined that it would 'blight the East End for generations to come'.

Those water tanks really are a gratuitous plagiarism of New York.
Down at the Brick Lane end.

The latest revision is quite a change. It is a compromise that partly addresses some of the criticism, while still building a dense neighbourhood that can turn a profit for the developers. The tallest tower was set to stretch to 46 storeys, but is now lopped back to 29.

I would 100% refuse to use that coffee shop because I don't like the apostrophe use.
One of the units appears to be on fire. A subtle nod to history? (The former goodsyard burned down in the 1960s.)

More homes have been added since our last glimpse — 500 versus the previous 450, though still way down on the earliest plans for 1,350. At least 35% will be 'affordable'. Meanwhile, the park area has increased to 10 acres, and most of the buildings will have green roofs.

Fans of girders are well catered for.
The least-green bit.

It's unlikely that all the critics (and there were many) will be assuaged. However, this new-look scheme does have its attractions and stands a better chance of getting a nod from the Mayor and planning authorities.

Good news for bricklayers. Bad news for street artists.
Another view from Brick Lane.

In the meantime, the plans are available for public scrutiny and feedback throughout March 2019.