Tower Hill Terrace

Donald McCrory Architects & Tower Hamlets Architecture Team, London, 2019


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Photography by Donald McCrory     Download Original

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Tower Hill Terrace, west of the Tower of London, is a paved area to the Grade I-listed All Hallows-by-the-Tower Anglican church

The brief called for the redevelopment of the underutilised public space. Introducing landscaping, lighting, power, water, refuge, and seating (sheltered where possible), none of which existed on the site previously. Supporting a new market, church events, public events (e.g. Druid Order Spring Equinox) and a pleasant environment for local workers and visitors.

The key design elements included low maintenance, Historic England sight line constraints (no insertions above the existing low wall level or below 1 inch of the slab), low running costs and provide rentable retail space to cover future maintenance budgets.

These elements had to be incorporated within the new furniture, as well as, planting, water supply, bins and power outlets. Naturally weathering cost effective hard wearing sustainably sourced iroko contrasts the existing hard landscaping found on the site.

Timber intentionally left untreated allows it to naturally grey over time and reflect and blend to the neighbouring stone buildings. Modules utilised coated aluminum to ensure robust support to the planting and electrical feeds for the lighting. Designed to be self-supporting, durable and removable with no fixings to the existing Tower of London Conservation area space.

Bespoke elements constructed off-site minimising time, and impact. Each variant regularised to respond to the limited budget. Modules given male to female joint interlocked connections, ensuring they could not be removed. Avoiding penetrations to the slab and walls, which could have affected the retail properties, below in the vaults. Delivered to site and fixed together in a matter of days, minimising any disturbance (noise, dust etc.).

All design elements were tested and developed through 1:1 prototypes in factories, drawing upon both the traditional crafts skills and newest technologies of each manufacturer.

Annual CO2 emissions data (requested in kg/m2/year) was not provided.


  • Begun: Oct 2019
  • Completed: Oct 2019
  • Floor area: 900m2
  • Sectors: Arts and culture, Public realm
  • Total cost: £290,000
  • Tender date: May 2019
  • Procurement: (JCT) Minor Works Building Contract
  • Address: Tower Hill Terrace, All Hallows by the Tower, Byward Street, London, EC3R 5BJ, United Kingdom