Developers transforming east London’s Rex Cinema believe they are breathing “a new lease of life into a special building”.

The Bethnal Green venue - currently used as a warehouse by Frankle Trimmings - will be converted into 21 apartments by City Innovations and architect Maxwell Hutchinson.

A former president of RIBA, Maxwell will team up with Stephen Davy Architects to preserve the site’s original facade and some art deco features.

He said: “I am delighted to be a part of what will be a landmark feature in one of the most eclectic and unique parts of London.

“We are reviving a significant East End landmark, through preserving the façade and other parts of the famous Rex Cinema, one of the first to show talking pictures in the UK.

“As well as providing much needed housing and creating homes which are designed to ensure a good quality of life, the building will promote the cultural and historical significance of the area, while bringing it up to date with the ongoing regeneration of east London.”

Sustainability is a design objective too - with an aim to achieve 45 per cent carbon reduction during construction phases, a four-star Code for Sustainable Homes rating and car-free status.

Five of the new properties are earmarked as affordable homes.

All will sit alongside retail and commercial space on the ground floor, as well as a landscaped courtyard.

Director at City Innovations Sam Dickson added: “We’re proud and excited to have started on this project.

“Bethnal Green is bustling with culture, history and wonderful stories.”

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