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Tired finishes, absence of facilities, and an


uninspiring public realm together inspired a clear path to improvement


given the existing site’s lacking visual appeal which, upon arrival, consisted of a set of commercial buildings dating from the late 1980s and 1990s, plus associated landscaping. Tired finishes, absence of facilities, and an uninspiring public realm together inspired a clear path to improvement. Republic’s masterplan was to be built in interspersed phases with the first renovated block, Import Building, completed in 2016 by Studio RHE. Export Building, situated adjacently south to its older sister, was the next focal point for the architects.


From old to new


Its name derived from the historic importance of waterborne trade in the area, Export Building is the new title for the former Capstan House, originally one of four commercial buildings erected on the


ADF OCTOBER 2019


0.84 hectare site, with Import Building – formerly, Anchorage House – situated just to the north. Two further buildings which are yet to be redeveloped, Mulberry House and Lighterman House, are located to the south-west of Export Building. A small network of canals outlining the south and west elevations of Import Building separate it from its counterparts. In plan, Export Building forms a rectangle composed of an east and west block, connected in the middle. In section, the building reflects this simplicity. The existing 10-floor block tapers down to eight floors at the south-west side, allowing floors eight and nine to benefit from access to a set of roof terraces with views from the Dome to Stratford and the Olympic Park. The eight-storey block to the south-west and the 10 storey block to the north-east were each originally clad in stone with inset glazing and helmed by two separate mansard roofs. These two elements are connected by a third element clad in curtain walling and connecting to the glazed pitched roof over a full-height atrium at the heart of the building. The ground floor facade follows this three-part composition by accentuating the entrance at the base of the connecting


CONNECTED


The part-refurb comprises three existing blocks, with an added two-storey extension which accentuates the building’s entrance


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