The Modern Workplace Adaptive Reuse and Education

StudioRHE transformed the Republic buildings at East India Dock in London into dynamic community hubs. The design blends mixed-use development, social interaction, and a connection to nature, offering a model for sustainable urban design.

Date July 10 2024
Written by Richard Hywel Evans & Jarred Sydney Walker

Republic - is the redesign and transformation of East India Dock a commercial office park completed in the early 1990’s. The idea of a new ‘office campus’ was designed and promoted pre-lockdown, but fully embraced soon afterwards as office workers slowly returned to the Capital demanding a new working environment.

Perhaps ironically the new campus was also quickly viewed as an attractive venue for educational facilities and students from the new satellites of British Universities keen to provide facilities in London.

The design of the Republic buildings and wider external spaces place a strong emphasis on fostering social interaction, the buildings have evolved from simple workspaces into dynamic community hubs, and they are now vibrant creative spaces that cater to a variety of activities and people.

These mixed-use buildings serve multiple functions simultaneously, catering to students, entrepreneurs, and experienced professionals alike and this versatility ensures the buildings remain relevant, dynamic and full of life throughout the day, reflecting the city's energetic spirit.

A key part of the design vision was the transformation of the East India Dock canal into a series of mixed-use outdoor spaces these beautifully landscaped courtyards, filled with lush planting offer unique meeting spaces and retreats within the hustle and bustle of the campus.

Republic represents a modern approach to urban development that truly blends function with aesthetics, the design demonstrates how buildings can evolve from simple office spaces into dynamic inter generational hubs, reflecting the vibrant spirit of East London.

Importantly the addition of students to the campus adds a youthful energy entirely devoid in any designed environment and is testament to how urban design can contribute to creating sustainable, liveable cities by integrating mixed-use adaptable developments with social interaction, and a connection to nature, the Republic campus has become a modern exemplar of inclusive urban design.