Location: London
Date: 2012-2021
Client: 4C Hotel Group
Status: Construction
Size: 5,712 sqm (87 private
Credits: ACME (Alia Centofanti, Anna Czigler, Iria de la Pena, Lizy Huyghe, Duarte Lobo Antunes, Ann-Kathrin Köhl, Friedrich Ludewig, Paolo Moretto, Deyan Nenov, Thomas Soo, Monica Capitanio)
Aldgate was one of the busiest medieval gateways into the city, with a rich historic and cultural background spanning centuries. Since the 1950s, the Minories street and the adjacent area have been the preferred location for the insurance industry serving the City of London, and in 1979, two office buildings were constructed on site and used by Aon Insurance. The other parts of the site were used mostly as a bus depot, as there are several London Underground lines below the surface, which prevent further construction.
As the City of London is expanding eastwards, the site has become one of the key regeneration obstacles in the area, and radical reuse and reconfiguration of the built fabric is needed.

Within its site boundary the Minories development is a microcosm of its evolving environment. The proposal demolishes some of the buildings that cannot be reused to reinstate lost streets and create new urban squares and landscaping. A new office building will be situated on the main Aldgate Street frontage, to provide employment space for banking and tech workers and repair the current urban void. New additional uses are introduced, to create a more truly mixed city environment. A new Canopy by Hilton hotel is created in the refurbished and extended Aon Insurance offices. A new residential building utilises the secluded courtyard location and enables the creation of a new public garden. The building responds to its surroundings in order to maximise area, sunlight and privacy. Its location in the garden will allow residents to enjoy living incredibly central, yet in a quiet tranquil park.

This area of Aldgate was previously known as Butchers Row, with a 500 year history of slaughterhouses and holding pens in the area. While the butchers have disappeared without trace, the design of the residential building pays homage to their trade in subtle detailing of façade and interior. Chainmail metal mesh has inspired the movable elements in the façade that give shading and privacy, and the interior lobby is softened through an elegant stainless steel curtain inspired by butchers’ gloves.