Brick Lane just south of Bethnal Green Road
Redchurch Street (2) is one of the few remnants of an historic street pattern on the fringes of inner London. At its west end is Boundary Street which was the boundary between the parishes of Shoreditch and Bethnal Green. Near here are buildings from the 18th century onwards, including numbers 113-115 Redchurch Street, which are three storey weavers’ houses dating from 1735.
The Victorian era saw the expansion of the cabinet making industry in this area with new larger scale buildings, and the introduction of some significant Victorian and Edwardian frontages. Many of these buildings are constructed from red brick, and are often on conspicuous corner sites. The character of the area is now mixed, brought about by successive phases of later development across the whole area. Buildings have been repaired, replaced and rebuilt, some in a piecemeal fashion. There is a fine Victorian terrace opposite at 123-159 Bethnal Green Road.
Historic inns exist here including the three storey former Knave of Clubs Public House, prominently sited on the corner of Club Row and Bethnal Green Road. It has a finely detailed cornice with a parapet, rusticated stucco bands and stucco architraves; inside there are fine 19th century pub mirrors. Nearby on Bethnal Green Road is the Rich Mix centre, a cross-cultural arts centre, designed by architects Penoyre and Prasad in 2002 with a distinctive louvered front.
The Boundary Estate (1) was built 1893-1900 after the London County Council took over social housing in London in 1889. The estate was the first to be developed by the LCC and comprises twenty blocks of five storey flats, two schools, local workshops and commercial shops, all built around a central 'circus'. It is built in Arts and Crafts style in a distinctive patterned brick. It replaced the Nichol, a notorious Victorian slum area. Now a park, the circular Boundary Gardens forms the centrepiece of the estate. Today it remains a thriving community with Rochelle School now used as an arts foundation.
’Dirty House’ on Whitby Street, built in 2002 by architect David Adjaye, is one of the newer and distinctive additions to the area; it is a converted warehouse with a black exterior and smoked flush glass windows with a roof terrace above. Nearby the house at 16 Club Row is a small but highly imaginative piece of new urban infill.
Redchurch Street, the Boundary Estate and Brick Lane are now all protected by Conservation Area status.
Rich Mix mission is to reflect and celebrate the cultural diversity of east London through a combined programme of cinema, performing arts and visual arts. For more information please go to the website http://www.richmix.org.uk/