New Mildmay

Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios and Matthew Lloyd Architects, London, 2017


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Individual character is established through brickwork variation 

Will Pryce     Download Original

  • Individual character is established through brickwork variation    
  • The architecture is united by shared masonry details, roof claddings, window types and proportions    
  • Brickwork is orange-red in hue    
  • New Mildmay adds to the important lineage of progressive housing typologies in the area providing affordable and family homes    
  • New Mildmay is positioned only a stone’s throw from the Boundary Estate – Europe’s first social housing scheme    
  • Walkways are similar to the ‘streets in the sky’ of nearby LCC estates    
  • Light, sandy brick forms the rectilinear façade of a new residential building    
  • FCBS has overseen the construction of six buildings incorporating 139 residential units with a range of tenures and styles    
  • Aerial view of the site    
  • Masterplan    
  • Site plan    
  • Appold Court typical floor plan    
  • Sections AA and BB    
  • Church cross detail section    
  • Roof construction detail    

Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios and Matthew Lloyd Architects have established a new sense of neighbourhood on a challenging site in east London.

MLA’s church and attached residential block forms something of a spine through the centre of the development. Viewed from Hackney Road, where Perseverance Works across the street provides an elevation reference, the presence of the church is made apparent by a 12m cross sunken into the brickwork. The inside of the church is surprisingly peaceful, considering its proximity to Hackney Road. Its nave is defined by a simple ovoid space, interrupted only by a porcelain-tiled cut-out for the baptistery. Adjacent, a tiny chapel shaped like a comma leads out on to a large, landscaped courtyard, which is overlooked, but not accessed, by the external walkways of two of the new residential units.

These walkways, akin to the ‘streets in the sky’ of nearby LCC estates, are among a plethora of local references that contribute to the contextual dexterity of the overall project.

The project hinges around the Tab Centre community building, a listed 19th-century hall and the only pre-existing element of the New Mildmay development. The centre can be accessed via Cooper’s Gardens or Godfrey Place. These are historic streets that have been reopened to greet Hackney Road and Austin Street with wide apertures, encouraging pedestrian transit into and through the block in an attempt to avoid the isolating implications of defensive architecture on nearby housing estates. 

These streets also provide access to the Mildmay Mission Hospital, distinguishable from its neighbours by the 19th-century clock face awkwardly stamped on to its south-facing façade. Mildmay has provided rehabilitation for people living with HIV-related brain impairment since 1988.

The roofs on all the blocks consist of sloping concrete panels with various gradients and directions, even above one single building. This posed great challenges in the detailed structural analysis and design works information exchange process, as well as site buildability.  Both hand calculations and design software packages were adopted to ensure the unbalanced load distribution was correctly interpreted due to the slopes and slab interactions where various sloping panels meet. Setting-out of the roof slabs, concrete parapets and supporting beams was presented on the drawings based on a good understanding of the construction methodology and sequence after thorough co-ordination. The concrete reinforcement detailing was performed so as to maximise flexibility in fixing steelworks on site.


  • Begun: Nov 2011
  • Completed: Feb 2017
  • Floor area: 19,575m2
  • Sectors: Religious, Residential, Office, Healthcare
  • Total cost: £30M
  • Address: Austin Road, London, E2 7NB, United Kingdom

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