Southern Grove unveils £33m sustainable canal side office development in Shoreditch

A new £33million office development in Shoreditch has been unveiled today by developer Southern Grove.

The scheme is located in an area that is seeing a huge amount of interest as rents and prices continue to rise in Shoreditch, resulting in ‘Shoreditch sprawl’. This is pushing demand further towards the attractive Grand Union Canal on the border with Haggerston.

Intensifying commercial investment in the area is marking it out as the natural successor to central Shoreditch, a fashionable London hub that has witnessed a dramatic transformation in the past 15 years. 

Southern Grove is only the second office developer to enter the area, following British Land’s purchase of its first home for the flexible workspace brand, Storey, in the same road. 

The 4,530 sqm scheme at 16 Orsman Road, which backs on to the canal, is also set to break new ground in green building. Southern Grove exchanged contracts on the land yesterday (Wed) and plans to use Cross Laminated Timber (CLT), a highly sustainable option that is much greener than concrete. 

This will mean the building, spanning six floors, is approximately four to five times lighter than a traditional building, resulting in much smaller foundations and minimal disruption to the neighbouring canal. Architects Waugh Thistleton were chosen specifically because they are market leaders in CLT design and have built a reputation as the foremost architects in this part of London. 

The prime site — a former factory — will be very attractive to commuters, being only a mile from the City and just a five-minute walk from Haggerston railway station. It also offers ample nearby outside space, situated a stone’s throw from the popular Kingsmead Basin and moments away from Shoreditch Park. 

Southern Grove plans to allocate around 10% of the office floor area (400 sqm) to ‘affordable’ office space and the building incorporates a substantial 100-bicycle storage facility on the ground floor with additional visitor cycle spaces in front of the building.

A terracotta façade will help the building blend in with the surrounding area, further raising the scheme’s sustainable credentials. 

Tom Slingsby, Chief Executive of developer Southern Grove, commented: “This is a great example of a prime development, sustainably built on an infill site that really makes the most of its surroundings. 

“Shoreditch sprawl means that demand is moving towards attractive neighboring areas and the canal is an obvious draw. The glazed facade to the property is designed to embrace what the canal has to offer, providing one of the most attractive canal-front aspects to be found in central London. 

“We’ll be only the second developer to take advantage of a great opportunity to provide superior office space in an area that is being talked about as the next big thing now central Shoreditch has reached saturation point.”