Aitch Group launches its new commercial spaces at Empress Works in Bethnal Green

Aitch Group has launched its new canal-side, warehouse-style, commercial spaces at Empress Works in Bethnal Green providing five units ranging from 686 sq ft to 1,722 sq ft in size, providing premises for sale or to let that are ideal for creative businesses such as Food & Beverage operators, marketing agencies, retailers or leisure brands.

Providing East London’s newest canal-side workspaces in the heart of industrious Benthnal Green, Empress Works is located off Corbridge Crescent and fronts onto the historic Regent’s Canal, lined with colourful barges and houseboats, close to Broadway Market.

With its ‘L’ shaped footprint wrapping around a central courtyard, the building has a striking white façade with the workspaces offering spacious, lofty interiors with 3.3 to 4.4m high ceilings and floor-to-ceiling glazing, providing bright and airy workspaces that benefit from canal or courtyard views.

Delivering urban regeneration at its very best, the new Empress Works development is designed by architectural practice DSDHA with a bespoke specification created by Studio Iro. The commercial units form a warehouse-style complex that captures the spirit of the area’s industrial and ‘maker’ past, while providing cutting-edge, flexible facilities that will perfectly suit the future of the post-pandemic working world.

Designed to reflect the architectural vernacular of the area’s heritage factories and warehouses, the building has tall Crittal-style windows, with each unit flooded with light, due to generous proportions, floor-to-ceiling windows and soaring ceiling heights. Each has the potential to be fully fitted on a bespoke specification to suit different purposes, including retail, leisure and fitness, offices or food.

This flexibility underlines Aitch Group’s inherent understanding of the office and commercial real estate market of today, helping businesses change and adapt at pace.

The units are separated by modern-day facilities such as a communal gym, bike storage, welcoming and relaxed lobby spaces. The sociable layout has been deliberately designed to encourage co-workers, visitors and locals to interact, ensuring a natural vibrancy in and around Empress Works, a vital component of the creation of place.

Piers Cook, Assistant Head of Asset & Property Management at Aitch Group says: “Aitch Group believe that following the coronavirus pandemic, cleverly conceived boutique workplace schemes like Empress Works will be highly sought after. Empress Works sits on a crossroads of culture in East London, located at the north-eastern tip of Bethnal Green on the doorstep of Hackney. The units are ideal for either creative businesses or a corporate reconsidering the need for vast headquarters. Empress Works offers both office space for a company needing that essential London base or individual studios for techies, creatives and makers.”

Bethnal Green is steeped in post-industrial cool and in the midst of a maker revival. Almost a century ago (in 1927) Empress Works was home to Empress Coaches which operated London buses and coach trips for hard-working east Londoners. The family-run firm was founded by enterprising bus driver Edward Thomas Staunton and nestled between a wheelwright, a steelworks and countless small workshops. Decommissioned in 2012, they are a window onto East London’s industrial architectural past.

Now Empress Works is part of the renaissance of Bethnal Green with entrepreneurs and creatives remaking the area. Local legends include master ‘Mac-smith’ Paul Marc Davis, whose thriving Apple repair shop is based on Hackney Road. A sculptor too, he has a traditional shop frontage for his hi-tech service. Another neighbour is bed and mattress maker Julian Litvinoff, while interior designer Lucy Currel of Studio Ivo ­(born and bred in Bethnal Green) is showcasing her homeware pieces in the show apartment above Empress Works.

Employees at Empress Works will also get to enjoy the Bethnal Green scene. Broadway Market has been trading fresh produce for centuries but closed after the Second World War. It reopened after a 25-year long battle by campaigners and is now one of the busiest foodie hubs in the capital. As well as Saturday street stalls there is the fishmonger Fin & Flounder, the café Climpson & Sons and the popular restaurant L’eau a la Bouche. Hill & Szrok is a butchers by day and a hip eatery by night.

For the physical and emotional wellbeing of workers at Empress Works, it is a short stroll to vast green spaces such as Victoria Park, Haggerston Park and London Fields. The complex itself overlooks the calming blue space of Regent’s Canal, overhung by trees. Conveniently situated to get across London quickly, Cambridge Heath overground station is only a four-minute walk away and on the service to Liverpool Street and the City.

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