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Bow Common Gasworks

Shared Reality Planning Engagement & Submission Media


Studio Egret West, working with developers St William, are transforming the existing Bow Common Gasworks site in Tower Hamlets into a new multi-use urban neighbourhood.

The development had reached a critical stage in the planning process and the project team needed a better way to engage with the planners to secure consent. In addition a series of high-quality CGi views were required to support the planning application and for the initial public presentations of the scheme.


Working closely with Studio Egret West, we hosted several shared reality sessions using both the live design models and immersive 360° CGI views. This helped the development and design teams to agree key decisions. This led to us hosting a similar session with the planners where we were commissioned to provide a clear depiction of the public realm being proposed as a more fully developed and interactive first-person site tour.

This collaborative visual experience enabled all parties to engage in a productive dialogue that enabled a consensus position on issues of key importance to the local authority. The use of the Vu.City platform within the Reality Portal™ also enabled the extended group to collectively understand the impact on and connection to the surrounding area.

Following a successful series of meetings, we were commissioned to produce a range of detailed CGI views. This required high-resolution photography at both eyelevel and at a higher altitude. These photographs provided the basis for these views and, importantly, illustrated the site’s proximity to Canary Wharf and London City.


The review sessions within the Reality Portal TM proved to be invaluable and a highly effective tool for enabling inclusive discussion and gathering key input from the planning teams. This coordinated approach to visual engagement provided a practical framework for ongoing iteration between all parties.

The final images visually illustrated the sense of community, open-space atmosphere and interconnectivity that Studio Egret West aimed to portray, as well as highlighting the careful design considerations given to each building and their connection with the industrial heritage of the site.


“The ability to do a real-time walkthrough provided a distinct advantage in our dialogue with the planning authority. The site tours gave everyone a clear indication of the proposed public realm and it was extremely useful to have been able to review the surrounding area using the Vu.City integration.

This was received well by the planners as a means of engagement and gave our team a lot of confidence when it came to instructing the CGI views that were included in our submission.”

Development Director, St William