Shipwright House, Boulcott Street

Shipwright House, the former Sector Six London Docker’s Athletic & Social Club is set to go. After planning permission was granted on 26 November, work commenced on site for the new development. Much loved for its arts, cultural and social events, the Sector Six London Dockers’ Athletic & Social Club provides a variety of sports activities, including a number of football teams.

All over London, community and voluntary groups are struggling to serve their members in dated and substandard buildings. By partnering with such organisations to unlock the value of the land on which they sit, the members they serve reap the benefit of excellent new facilities while the community at large benefits from much needed new housing

At Shipwright House, just off Commercial Road, Guildmore worked with Sector Six London Docker’s Athletic & Social Club to create and fit out new community and clubhouse facilities at ground and first floor levels, with 25 new apartments laid out over 6 floors above. Key features of the scheme include winter garden balconies and a rooftop playground with stunning views across London. The successful delivery of this project addresses the logistical challenges of a tight site directly adjacent to the DLR. with almost 100% site coverage.

The Sector Six London Dockers Social & Athletic Club

The London Dockers Athletic & Social Club was established in the early 1940s, during the Second World War, together with the National Dock Corporation later to become the National Dock Labour Board (NDLB). Initially its main purpose was to provide a central assembly area and shelter for personnel working both in the Docks River and Riverside Wharfs. It later developed into a working man’s tea club and moved during the war time period to different premises within the area (St Georges in the East Cyrpt) to a purpose built office and community establishment in Branch Road E14. The premises were later demolished to make way for the Limehouse Link Tunnel. The club moved to its present, purpose built 3 storey premises in Boulcott Street in 1966.

During this period the club grew and its membership widened within the local community. In 1990 the London Dockers Club purchased its leasehold from the Government. More recently it has purchased the Freehold of the property. A committee of existing members formed The Trust which continues to administer the club today. Today the Club works in association with the Dockers Senior Club and Stepney Historical Trust.

Key Project information:

This development enhances the local setting by utilising appropriate materials and design to respect and enhance the adjoining conservation area. The scale and extent of development has been fully justified in relation to the existing built form of the surrounding land and buildings. The existing building represents an inefficient use of land which offered the opportunity to make a significant contribution to create a Community Hub through the reprovision of the Dockers Club and providing new residential accommodation.

  • Careful space planning over six stories of dwellings enabled Guildmore to achieve 25 flats over a range of sizes and tenures.
  • Guildmore maximised the height of the development by lining the building using the residential building directly opposite at 5 Boulcott Street. This building is seven stories high, Guildmore managed to achieve 8 stories within the same height.
  • The building is virtually hidden from sight on any view away from the DLR
  • The original heavily framed balconies, to the south facing façade, were simplified so that the stone bands emphasised the horizontal nature of the banding. All flats have spacious balconies, most facing south or west to maximise sunlight
  • The challenge of forming a high density development and providing good quality outdoor amenity space was solved with a communal terrace for the residents formed by stepping the building in at the 6th This provides a protected outdoor recreation space; children’s play area and green roof.
  • Winter gardens were added to the South Façade to improve the quality of the outdoor space.
  • All flats are spaciously designed to meet the guidelines of the London Plan
  • The building was designed with security in mind, following feedback from the local police and the planning department, the treatment of the building along Boulcott Street, including the entrances, were redesigned to provide an open safe environment
  • The building has been designed to BREEAM Very Good standard


Boulcott Street is a quiet cul-de-sac running off Commercial Road located within a few minutes of Limehouse DLR Station and National Railway Station. Limehouse Station offers quick and easy access via the DLR to Bank, Tower Gateway, Canary Wharf and London City Airport, whilst via the National Rail line c2c, direct access to Fenchurch Street. The area has emerged as one of London’s most popular up and coming spots located between London’s two financial districts; The City and Canary Wharf.

The O2 arena is easily reached and offers year round international tours and events, multiplex cinema and packed with restaurants, clubs and bars. Locally the area has, surprisingly, a lot to offer with The Troxy now a Grade II listed building located on Commercial Road. This stunning Art Deco Building was designed by George Coles who was also involved in the design of Queens College, University of London as well as numerous Art Deco Cinemas throughout the capital. Originally one of London’s largest cinemas, it is now currently used as a superb exhibition space, encompassing conferences and concerts.

Tobacco Dock is also close, offering clubbing, nightlife and exhibitions along with very good Gin festivals!

Read the letter from Brian Nicholson, Chairman of the Sector Six London Dockers Athletic & Social ClubBrian Nicolson – Ref Dockers club

Download the brochure for Shipwright House12-09-16-final-shipwright-e-brochure