Past Peeps : Circling Wellclose Square


Saturday 22 June 2019, 1-7pm at Wellclose Square, London, E1 8HY

and from Sunday 23 June at AND events space, 10 Backchurch Lane, London E1 1LX including a Boundaries Discussion on Sunday 22 June at 3pm

The 2019 London Festival of Architecture theme ‘Boundaries’ has prompted an installation at Wellclose Square by Project Architects with AND Association kindly sponsored by Engie.

Set out 336 years ago by developer Nicolas Barbon, Wellclose Square is considered the first formally laid out square in East London. Today’s appearance of Wellclose Square is defined by:

• cast iron railings around it’s centre, originating in the 1870s, protecting St. Paul’s Primary School and large leafy London plane trees

The Buildings to North, East, South and West were cleared from 1961 onwards as part of the London County Council’s plans for the Stepney and Poplar Reconstruction Area.

• St George’s Estate in the Northeast, built between 1963 and 72, with medium rise, five storey maisonette blocks and the 66m, 23 storey Hatton House on a podium raised over garages

• an open park space to the East and the Ensign Youth Club to the South East with a road to the South now called Wellclose Street leading down to The Highway

• a long-term hoarded off UK Power Networks site to the Southwest and the Shapla Primary School, built 1983-87 after long debate and blocking the western part of the route around the square, to the West

• Graces Alley and the restored Wilton’s Music Hall to the Northwest

The square’s rich history and complexities of changing land ownership and use manifest themselves in the current expression of boundaries on the square. The viewer is invited to reflect upon these boundaries and make suggestions towards improving Wellclose Square.

Gratitude is due to supportive residents and organisations based around the square for making this project possible.