The White Chapel Building  Derwent London

Fletcher Priest has transformed a 1980s office block on Whitechapel High Street into 200,000 sq ft of creative and media offices. The offices were let by Derwent London in record time to creative and tech organisations including the acclaimed Government Digital Service.

The entrance to the building has been re-located in order to give direct access for the public to a light-filled, seven-storey atrium, with views through to a garden terrace. Named the White Chapel Building after the 14th century white church that was once located nearby, the entrance is marked by giant, illuminated stencil lettering designed by Cartlidge Levene to signify the reinvention of the building and welcome the public to enter.

Inside, a 7000 sq ft reception area will become a vibrant social space, with sculptural furniture, a bar and a cafe that can be used by people working in the building as well as the public – adding to Whitechapel’s cultural and leisure offer and bringing in activity from the street. High quality, elemental materials such as oak and exposed concrete have been used to create warmth and a relaxed, domestic atmosphere. Mid-century modern furniture and textiles have been sourced for the atrium and lift lobbies.

Encouragement of cycling – with a 187-space cycle store, lockers and 20 showers – is just one aspect of the White Chapel Building’s commitment to sustainability. Fletcher Priest, which has pioneered reuse and recycling in many of its projects, is extending the life of the building by re-purposing existing fittings and revealing hidden qualities of the building. Granite facades have been cleaned and the surrounding streets benefit from improved landscaping.

Phase 2 of the transformation of The White Chapel Building will see the replacement of the redundant lean-to against the west façade with a sleek first floor pavilion and entrance to the 89,000sqft lower ground floor space of the existing 7-storey office building, which will become the London Museum of Photography operated by Fotografiska, the leading Scandinavian photography museum whose exhibition programme highlights the work of world-renowned photographers.