Fancy a swim in an old graving docks on the Thames? Well, this prospect might not be too far away with the news that Tower Hamlets Borough Council has unanimously approved Blackwall Yard, a new piece of city in east London and one of the last brownfield sites on the Thames.
LDA Design is part of a competition-winning team behind a masterplan that puts quality public space at the heart of new Thames-side living.
The scheme proposed by Hadley Property Group will open up a stretch of the Thames Path to Londoners for the first time in decades. Glenn Howells Architects, White Arkitekter, Panter Huspith Atrchitects, Buro Happold and Avison Young complete the core design team.
During consultation, more than 90% of people told the team that the area lacked the amenities they were looking for, with some saying they had to leave to find good food and places to shop. Tower Hamlets said the new plans are of benefit to the public. The development includes just under 900 tenure-blind homes, including affordable, a new primary school, a pub and café and retail.
The site, much of which was being used as a car park, sits between Canary Wharf and the Royal Docks, and is a short walk from the East India DLR station. Transformed, it will form a new link between Tower Hamlets and the Greenwich Peninsula.
“The opportunity to reveal and reimagine the abandoned Graving Dock and to see people swimming and playing here in the near future has been one of the most exciting and challenging aspects of this great project,” explains director Benjamin Walker, LDA Design’s lead for this project.
“Our design includes a permanent area of water for wild swimming, water capture and cleaning as well as a floating exhibition and performance space plus an area for the new school to use for outside learning . The cap of the dock has been transformed into a series of inviting terraces which make the most of the view across the Thames to the O2.”
The site was of low ecological value, so this is an opportunity to increase biodiversity across the site. A gravel garden will feature attractive drifts of inter-tidal planting. There will also be rain gardens and allotments.