Waugh Thistleton in Dalston, London


Waugh Thistleton, in Dalston, London

Architects Waugh Thistleton have won planning permission for this residential building in Ramsgate Street in Dalston, London.


The tower has a helical wind turbine attached to its back, although you can't see it in these images.

More details below:


Ramsgate Street

Waugh Thistleton’s 66-unit scheme for Ramsgate Street in Dalston, London has just won planning permission.


Clad in glazed tiles and featuring a stunning tower of helical windturbines at its spine, the fourteen-storey building makes a radical architectural statement that will become a new landmark for East London. As well as exceeding the Mayor’s demanding targets for energy efficiency, this is a building that will signifi cantly benefit a community currently deprived of both decent housing and employment.

Commissioned by Metropolitan Housing Trust, the scheme will provide 66 private and affordable apartments, as well as 1,117 sq m of new office space acting as significant kick-start to a neighbourhood on the edge of a renaissance.


An iconic and uncompromising beacon for the regeneration of the area, the design for the scheme derives from its context. A tower stands at the north end of the site next to seven-storey Springfield House, supported by a four-storey plinth that spreads beyond to meet the lower neighbouring buildings. The plinth and the tower are distinct elements – the tower from the car park seems to float above the street as a distinct form – and yet are simultaneously interlocked, making maximum use of the site and providing a strong edge.

A key component of the design was to exceed the Mayor’s target for on-site sources of renewable energy. Conceiving of the energy producing/saving mechanics of the building as an integral part of the design was a challenging process, requiring the design team to investigate how the height and form of the building could best harness the wind energy at that location. The resulting form of the plan ensures that the tower acts as an aerofoil, concentrating the greatest wind speed to the spine of the building, where four turbines will be attached vertically, in a spiral form that is as visually stunning as it is innovative.

The turbines will provide the building with more than 15% of its energy requirements, exceeding the Mayor’s targets for energy effi ciency. Dependent on wind speed, the four turbines will generate around 40,000kW hrs a year. This is enough to power an 80-person office, or the electrical energy requirement of more than 40 flats and it will save approximately 7 tonnes of carbon dioxide from being pumped into the atmosphere every year.

The tower is a bold design statement, introducing a new aesthetic to the area. It goes beyond being environmentally accountable and providing the community with much-needed facilities, to a building that both projects and epitomises the area’s aspirations and potential.

Waugh Thistleton, established in 1997, is an architect practice based in Shoreditch. The two directors, Andrew Waugh and Anthony Thistleton, employ ten staff all boldly striving to make beautiful, intellectually rigorous, environmentally responsible architecture; responsive to client, context and brief. Projects range from high-rise housing, through to mixed-use, public, and commercial buildings. Clients include Housing Associations, Local Authorities, Artists, Synagogues and Cinemas.


Posted on Thursday May 24th 2007 at 8:40 pm by . Copyright policy | Comments policy


    Hmmmm, a good idea with a terrible design…

  • Dennis

    They look like those turbines that have no aerodynamic means of overspeed control once the generation or other braking systems fail. If so, not good. Also there may be a problem with vibrations added to the structure when the turbines are running. Certainly they should be looking at that as a potential problem. There’s probably going to be a wind shear (difference in wind speed) from the top to the bottom. Hopefully those turbines are not locked together on a single main shaft given that particular issue. Also there may be turbulence issues on the edges of buildings. I’d like to see a serious study on any augmentation the developers are suggesting exists. Other than these concerns, it’s certainly a good thing to consider. :)

  • Not so terrible, actually, Vidal. The ‘thin’ design saves it. It so sexy, at least in the images.


    Hmmm(2), Sexy architecture! This is a good idea! Or could be…
    But the problem is not the “thin” shape, but the internal space.
    Probable cultural issue, but strange for me.

  • loved the “green” idea of the structure and turbines. I felt this was a possibility a long time ago (my dream of being self sufficiant while sending my own extra wind electricity to the grid) when I started thinking about my own windmill and mini damn. Love the structure, I can’t say it enough.

    How about adapting the idea you pattented (i’m sure) and make available via consult a turbine design for many tall buildings in cities around the world which can support such an attachment that gets helicoptered in. Why not, can’t hurt…and during storms there is a lot of wind, so if the power goes out the turbine will be screaming in electricity.

    Ryan A. Robinson
    MS Human Resources Management

  • Matt

    Dennis, the spirally vertical axis turbines are supposedly free of vibration and overspeed problems.


  • ashok kundapur

    Excellent idea. Hope many more such buildings will be built soon.

  • Hamish NZ

    To be honest I hear the concerns noted above but the idea of VA turbines is this vibration is negligible.
    This would surely be the turbine tech of choice for these applications. Any device that has a fault in the “fail safe? department is going to be in trouble.

  • Larry

    Things to be considered . Low frequency unpleasant sound,
    vibrations at all levels and frequencies throughout the
    building and concentrating in materials with sympathetic
    harmonics . People living near the hardware would have an
    industrial atmosphere with vibtating teacups.
    Why not use a different approach . The airfoil shape of the
    building provides a low pressure area only in certain wind
    directions. Why not circular, then a low pessure is created on two sides in all wind diections. Dont use a turbine use a
    perforated exterior wall with diaphrams connected to magnets
    and coils to produce electricty and vemtilation .No sound,
    no speed problems, no mechanical balancing and helicopter
    installations .

  • Daniel

    They should just put grass on the roof and then get a few cows. Not only will they get some milk but they will be able to collect the methane from their shit to burn for electricity. So SIMPLE!!!!!

  • geneely

    larry, how many sides would a circular building have?!

  • Larry

    Larry says unlimited sides.

  • HAG

    terrible design, terrible functionality

    dark, closed, and without enought natural conditions on the units

  • Z Corp

    Fancy building for white fancy people to move in.
    This area is mainly composed by African and Turkish communities that won’t afford moving in those.
    To built it several houses and shops have been expulsed, even though mostly slumb, the proposed solutions is just breaking the locals communities as inevitably the price of the land will rise around this landmark and will push locals to leave for more affordable areas.

    What about the social impact of the construction ?

    For those who are concerned about the vibrations, it is built over train tunnel.