IS THIS a skyscraper I see before me, Shakespeare might have wondered, as 30 storeys are due to rise up where his plays were first staged in London.
As Loving Dalston reported in April the precise location of the theatre, near Curtain Road in Shoreditch, was discovered by Museum of London archeologists. (National media got in a tizz about it last week.)
The high-rise will be at least 30 storeys, on an 0.8 hectare (2.1-acre) site. To be called the Stage Building (groan), the development will contain flats and, on the first 10 floors, shops.
Pringle Brandon Drew, a Shoreditch architectural firm, has been preparing plans for more than a year. English Heritage said nothing could go ahead until the site of the theatre was definitively established.
John Drew, Pringle Brandon Drew managing partner, told The Architects’ Journal: “Our proposals open up the site, attracting more people into the area from surrounding streets.
“Having uncovered an internationally important archaeological discovery, we have the unique opportunity to create a centrepiece which is accessible to the public and provides facilities to showcase the Curtain Theatre’s cultural importance.
“We will be working closely with the Museum of London Archaeology and English Heritage throughout the process to safeguard this amazing find.”
By coincidence, the land where the bard’s theatre stood is a family named Bard.
Museum of London experts are certain the theatre stood at 4-6 New Inn Broadway, Shoreditch EC2A 3PZ. So next month by an application for planning permission will be made to Hackney council.
What’s in a name?”, wrote Shakespeare in Romeo and Juliet. “That which we call a rose.” Will this proposal smell as sweet to local people?
A community group has been asked for its view. Kristjan Byfield, a founder of Shoreditch letting agent Base Property Specialists, told Loving Dalston: “As a local business owner and estate agent, I love the plans. London needs more accommodation and there is one solution, to build upwards.
“I like the look of this scheme. The proposal for 10 floors of commercial space seems sound and I like the look of the regenerated warehouse-style building on Great Eastern Street and the raised roof gardens.
“It is one of the better schemes and it is great that a local architect has been used — it is another vital element of ongoing development to actively involve local people, businesses and professionals as much as possible. Thumbs up to this one.”
David Altheer 120612
* See also: Stage set for 40-floor Shoreditch tower
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