Spitalfields & Shoreditch
Avant-garde creativity and counter-cultural experimentation define the architecture and character of a dynamic cultural melting pot where heritage and regeneration meet
London’s infamous East End presents a dizzying mix of cultures, contrasts and change whose architecture defies single classification. From the sublime early Georgian terraces of Huguenot Spitalfields to the ultra-contemporary warehouse conversions of hipster Shoreditch, the richly varied architecture of this eclectic and often bohemian quarter has been forged by successive waves of immigration, innovation and industry. Long before the 2012 Olympic Games, the regeneration and gentrification that has transformed east London over the past twenty years started here. It was built on the long tradition of alternative culture and artistic non-conformity that has existed in this working district for centuries and has now crammed the area with provocative examples of modern architecture that consistently push boundaries and challenge convention. In so doing this most recent wave of creativity-led regeneration conforms to the same historic tradition of radical intervention that embellished the area with the volcanic presence of baroque genius Nicholas Hawksmoor’s greatest church. It also enabled Shoreditch to become home to the world’s first social housing estate at the end of the 19th century, thereby enshrining a spirit of progressive social consciousness that still exists in its architecture today.
WALK START LOCATION: Liverpool Street Station (Bishopsgate Main Entrance) / Map
WALK ENDS: Hoxton Square