RESIDENTIAL - R04
The New Atrium
The Old Cottages
This factory was established by William Bryant and Francis May in 1861 to make safety matchs. At one time it was the biggest factory in London.
In 1911 it employed more than 2,000 women and girls. The London matchgirls strike of 1888 started there. This led to the establishment of the first British trade union for women. A blue plaque outside the entrance commemorates the role of Annie Besant in leading demands for better pay and conditions. The factory finally closed in 1979 and the work was moved to Liverpool.
In 1988 the site was derelict and became one of east London's first urban renewal projects.
Refurbish, repair the brickwork, windows and building fabric. Insert new mezzanine floors with the existing floor height to offer what was called "loft living". The conversion and the new build will be 710 flats in total.
A new Atrium with full height glass was created for the main rear block, see the above photo.
A new leisure centre with a swimming pool has been constructed.
Laundry has been located within the car parking at the lower levels of the main block.