• Location

    The Picture House, Shoreditch
  • Type

    Commercial B1 and Retail
  • Year

  • Size


An architectural ‘bookend’ for Great Eastern Street

Architect and Project Manager – Douglas and King Architects

Clients Agent – John D Wood
Planning Consultant – BNP Paribas
Structural Engineer – Conisbee
MandE Engineers – Flatt
Agent – Sterling Ackroyd

Planning Permission for this BREEAM excellent, zero carbon ready, building was granted by Hackney Council in 2020. Design and Project Management was led by the Architect as part of a wider development for the Shoreditch Island Site.

The proposed new Picture House is a workspace building located in Shoreditch, on the boundary between the boroughs of Islington and Hackney.  The building has been designed to be an architectural ‘bookend’ for the western side of the Shoreditch Island masterplan.

We are currently refining the detailing of the exterior facades in discussion with the LB Hackney following on from their agreement to our design approach including its structural integrity, proposed materials, and vertical emphasis.

The Picture House will be a 10-storey structure with a height of 40m.  This is significantly lower than many of the existing and emerging high-rise developments in the nearby urban landscape of Old Street.


The building has been designed to respond to three distinct scales:

  1. The urban scale which is representative of the culture of the area
  2. The local scale which is how the building is seen both from a distance and from its immediate context
  3. The human scale – this is the scale of the street and the passing pedestrians

It’s slender form will be ‘split’ horizontally to respond to the level of the surrounding urban landscapes.  Concrete piers and beams will frame glazed rectangular apertures that define the vertical and horizontal grid.  These provide a depth to the façade and variable shading conditions at different times of the day.  The density of the facade subtly decreases as it progresses upward through its vertical grid.

The architectural expression of the exterior is an intelligent response to the materiality and mutation of Shoreditch – as was, is now and could be in the future.

The site is divided into three building blocks, each of which respond to the different influences on the site: Titchfield House responds to the Shoreditch Warehouses to the South of the site and the immediate neighbours on Tabernacle Street. The existing townhouses are renovated and extended, and form the boundary of two important public squares. Picture House is a tall building that marks the boundary of Old Street and Shoreditch, combining the styles of both areas.

A historic street which ran through the site is recreated in a new courtyard that will provide a calm oasis just off the busy thoroughfare of Old Street. Ground floor retail and cafes will activate this space, making it a vibrant new destination.

The architectural language draws on the industrial heritage of Shoreditch, while also representing the modern culture of the area as a vibrant, creative and fringe area.

Douglas and King are currently working with Hackney Planning Department towards a planning application for this key scheme. See the blog for sketches, studies and updates to this project as it develops over the coming months.

The design team and delivery of this project is led by Douglas and King Architects. For information on our processes read our blog on creative leadershio by CLICKING HERE