Living in the sky has long been desirable, but residents of Providence Tower will also be able to enjoy the benefits of living in New Providence Wharf that has a depth and substance few other Thames-side developments achieve.
No wonder there’s so much excitement over the release of the final eight apartments in Providence Tower, the luxury residential development in New Providence Wharf. The apartments are on the top three floors of the tower and command sweeping views of the London skyline.
Each apartment comprises two bedrooms with up to 2100sq.ft of living space and up to 115sq.ft of external terrace space. They are elegant and stylish with open plan living and floor to ceiling windows.
Providence Tower is the culmination of New Providence Wharf, a mixed-use development designed by world-famous architect, SOM, with an already thriving community.
All residents, current and future will benefit from the 24-hour concierge service, a fully equipped fitness centre and luxury spa with 25m lap pool, sauna and steam room.
The apartments are 12 minutes from the City via Blackwall DLR station, they are close to London City Airport and with Crossrail’s completion looming, Heathrow Airport will also be within a comfortable commuting distance.
Prices start at £1.475m. Sales Director, Jenny Steen said: “We are thrilled to launch these eight beautiful homes. They are the last piece of the New Providence Wharf puzzle and we look forward to welcoming the final residents to complete the existing community”.
English National Ballet’s move to a new home at London City Island will allow it to open its doors to local people for the first time, reports Julie Tomlin.
Could English National Ballet’s new home in East London inspire another Billy Elliot who famously stumbled into a ballet class on his way to a boxing lesson?
“Being in this area is an enormous opportunity to give access to high culture to lots of people who might not otherwise think about it,” says English National Ballet’s artistic director, Tamara Rojo.
Both ENB and its associated training facility, English National Ballet School, will be relocating to London City Island in 2018, a new neighborhood in Canning Town being developed by EcoWorld Ballymore on former dockland close to Trinity Buoy Wharf.
Not only will the two organisations be housed under the same roof for the first time, they will enjoy state-of-the-art facilities that include a 600 sq m theatre-sized space and eight teaching and rehearsal studios designed by architect Glenn Howells.
But the dancers won’t be working in splendid isolation. In fact, passers by will be able to see them practicing inside, a design feature that Rojo hopes will open up the building - and ballet - to the wider community.
“The building is almost transparent, so it will hopefully be a welcoming place that makes you feel part of things as you see the training and the work that goes on every day,” she says.
The Spanish ballerina was a Lead Principal Dancer at ENB from 1997 to 2000 and re-joined the company in 2012 as artistic director and quickly became known as one of the UK’s most impressive arts leaders, shaking up what was a struggling company on the verge of losing its public funding.
Her ambitions for ENB now include establishing it as City Island’s “cultural anchor”, opening it up to artists and arts organisations from East London and introducing ballet to communities in Newham and neighboring Tower Hamlets.
Not only is there plenty of space for development, creation of new commissions and rehearsals, the new building has rehab facilities, a music room for English National Ballet Philharmonic, and digital infrastructure which will allow both organisations to transmit their work to audiences around the UK and the rest of the world.
“The new facilities will allow us to do a lot more research and development, give more opportunities to young choreographers and develop the art form,” says Rojo.”
This is a far cry from its current base in Kensington, which has just two rehearsal studios while the school is located in a similarly cramped building in Fulham, about a mile to the south.
“ENB has had to make do for 65 years and now for the first time we are going to get the building that the company truly deserves”, says Rojo.
Encircled by water, Goodluck Hope is an area steeped in the history of London’s riverside and where the capital established its reputation as the world’s greatest trading hub. Today, it is about to be being transformed into a new neighbourhood by Ballymore.
What’s all the fuss about?
A unique riverside scheme whose design by architect Allies & Morrison is inspired by the area’s industrial heritage is about to put Goodluck Hope back on the map. Plans for the area include warehouse and tower apartments and townhouses, the restored Grade 11 listed Dry Dock and its very own brewery.
But I’ve never heard of Goodluck Hope. Should I have done?
Only if you’re in expert in maritime history. There’s records of ships being unloaded here as early as 1297 and in its heyday, when it was part of East India Docks, tea, spices, indigo, silk and Persian carpets were all stored in warehouses on the site. As well as shipping, the area supported a community of manufacturers, from coopers to glassmakers and seed crushers to a sack and bag company.
More recently artists, sculptors and a variety of makers, as well as designers, photographers and architects have moved in. Some of them are housed in “Container Cities” built using recycled shipping containers.
I might go down and take a look, what else?
If you arrive at Canning Town, cross the ‘red bridge’ which will bring you into London City Island, the northern part of the Leamouth peninsula, where English National Ballet and the London Film School will be based. Head to the marketing suite housed in one of the area’s few remaining buildings and whose lush interior makes reference to Goodluck Hope’s exotic trading past.
After that, drop in to Trinity Buoy Wharf and explore the capital’s only lighthouse, which offers great views and also hosts Jem Finer’s ‘Longplayer’, a digital musical composition, which has been designed to play in real-time, without repetition, for 1000 years.
Once you’ve done exploring, you could drop in the popular Bow Creek Cafe, which has just moved to a new home made out of four containers on the site.
You mentioned a brewery. Tell me more.
The Wharf Brewing Company is going to set up shop on the site of the old Orchard House pub. There is a great tradition of brewing in the East End and the Wharf Brewery will allow people to learn about the process before tasting all the ales on offer including one especially brewed for Goodluck Hope.
It sounds amazing. How long do I have to wait?
Goodluck Hope will launch in June. If you’re interested in knowing more about the development please register here and for architecture buffs Ballymore is hosting a special tour as part of the London Festival of Architecture on June 21st.
Hot on the heels of winning Best Development of the Year at the RESI Awards, London City Island has triumphed again taking home the top prize at the prestigious London Evening Standard New Homes Awards.
London City Island won the Grand Prix award and the trophy for best regeneration project at a packed ceremony at the Dorchester Hotel last Friday (May 19th).
John Mulryan MD of Ballymore UK said:
We are delighted, once again, to be honoured for our bold vision. Winning the ‘best of best’ award among so many other great developments is hugely gratifying and makes us even more determined to carry on delivering exciting and diverse new neighbourhoods”.
The Evening Standard described the scheme as “ambitious” because of the way it has transformed 12 acres of “gritty industrial land” into a new neighbourhood for east London.
The awards, hosted by comedian Romesh Ranganathan and presented by Team GB hockey star Kate Richardson-Walsh, was judged by Evening Standard readers and specialist architects.
London City Island also won Best New Place to Live at the London Planning Awards earlier this year.
Ben Blackwood grew up near Dumfries in Scotland. He studied engineering at Loughborough University and moved to London in 2006. He joined Embassy Gardens in 2014 and is now Design Director at Embassy Gardens. He lives in Hertfordshire.
What attracted you to engineering?
I had always been interested in making things and after I left school I went to work for the MoD who then sponsored me through University. Each summer I was sent to various MoD bases. The first time I went, I had to write the documentation for how to take a Challenger 2 tank apart and then put it back together again. Then I had a job designing armoured welfare facilities, mainly for use in Iraq.
Was this good training working for Ballymore?
I left the MoD because I realised I could make more money as a contractor. I became part of a company manufacturing off-site offices, washrooms and unique off-site projects- all made in Scotland. I joined Ballymore because of Aaron Caffrey (Ballymore’s Technical Director). He interviewed me. He’s a very inspirational person because he has an overarching understanding yet gets into the detail of how everything works.
Your role at Embassy Gardens was quite a change of direction from your previous jobs. How did you cope?
I loved my new job! It fitted me perfectly. After being responsible for the running of a company, I was suddenly free without having to think about the company IT contract or the BT bill.
Describe a typical day
I get here around 7.45am and I don’t usually leave before 7pm- they’re long days- but I wouldn’t have it any other way because I want to go home satisfied that I’ve done the best I can. I also spend most of my time on my feet talking to people in the team. There’s a lot of bravado in construction and you have to cater for the varied personalities. It’s important to make sure everyone has their input heard to maintain their enthusiasm.
How did your role change after Skypool came along?
Once the concept was sorted, my role was to make sure that all the relevant questions are being asked and that our professional teams of specialist designers, engineers, architects, consultants and specialist manufacturers are addressing each unknown in turn to ensure that we delivery exactly what the concept shows.
We’re all expecting to see Skypool look exactly like the first images. Is that likely?
It’s fair to say this has always been the challenge and items that have proved to be the most complex are the things you wouldn’t expect, like the lighting. The image shows the pool fully lit and it’s taken some time to work out how to do that but we’ve found a solution. We are confident that it will be as spectacular in real life.
What keeps you awake at night?
Everything can be solved. Occasionally there’s a detail I’m not happy with and it can be in the middle of the night you have your Eureka moment
How do you relax?
Cycling. The guys here got me into it and we did the Ring of Kerry last year. But I’m a fair weather cyclist and I like to head off on my bike on a Sunday afternoon and then find a pub. We’re looking for another big cycle so we can raise money for charity this summer.
What single piece of advice would you give your 20-year old self?
Don’t try and conquer the world on your own – make use of the tools and expertise available.
Inviting a neighbour for a cup of coffee or a meal can make all the difference when you have just moved in to a new development say Ballymore residents.
The idea of turning a house into a home may be a familiar one, but what about a new development or apartment block becoming a friendly community?
What is the alchemy that brings about such transformations?
Mel Henson, who lives at London City Island, says that being prepared to speak to people you meet is the most important thing when you move into a new neighbourhood.
“A lot of people I’ve got to know, it’s just began with saying “hi, have you been here long, striking up conversations,” says Henson, who adds that she’s “amazed” at the strength of the community feeling. That may be because getting to know people in a new development can be easier than an established community as people arriving roughly at the same time already have something in common. Henson believes that London City Island itself attracted like-minded people.
“Ballymore wanted to create a community and so it attracted people who moved in wanting to make friends and were very receptive when people said ‘let’s have a game of pool tonight, that kind of thing.”
The Facebook group and the recently formed residents association have played an important role, and Henson says she would advise anyone moving in to join them:
“The Facebook group is quite a lively group,” she adds. “There’s quite a lot on there, with people sharing all kinds of stuff from isn’t it a lovely sunset, to I’ve got a mattress I don’t need, does anyone want it?” to can anyone lend me a can opener?
Having the opportunity to meet people in less formal ways, at the gym, or in communal areas, has helped Eva Svatkova, who is originally from the Czech Republic to feel more at home in Embassy Gardens than places she’s lived previously in London.
“We lived in a smaller development, with about 70 flats, but we didn’t have any resident facilities and because everyone’s busy, you don’t have the opportunity to meet and establish relationships,” she says.
A residents’ association that is being set up is the result of people getting together to discuss issues that arose after they moved into their new homes. But as people have got to know each other, the emphasis has shifted towards socialising:
“We now do things like invite each other for dinner, so it’s becoming more friendship based,” she says. “It makes a big difference, because London can feel like a hostile place when you first move here. You might not expect a development of this size, with 900 flats to have such a strong community, but it makes it much nicer even if you bump into someone in Waitrose and can stop and have a chat.”
Now spring is truly here, it’s time to try one of the fastest growing sports amid some of East London’s most iconic scenery.
At first glance, taking a dip in the docks may not rank among the most obvious advantages of 21st century docklands living. But open water swimming – or ‘wild swimming’ as it’s called – is becoming Britain’s fastest growing participatory sport, according to Sport England.
Within a stone’s throw of two of Ballymore’s most prestigious docklands developments – at London City Island and Royal Wharf– WakeUp Docklands at Royal Victoria Beach offers safe, clean - and reassuringly warm - open water swimming this summer amid the iconic industrial structures of London’s docklands.
Since launching last year, London Royal Docks Open Water Swimming reports “a huge new take-up” of wild water swimming enthusiasts, eager to try out their 400-metre to 1.5-metre courses. Swimmers are protected by lifeguards aboard kayaks and benefit from the cleaner waters which flow into the docks from small tributaries, as opposed to the more polluted waters of the Thames.
While swimming in the river between Putney and Thames Barrier is no longer permitted, ‘wild swimming’ in the docks affords the magic of being amidst “the cranes, the high buildings and the old industrial docks of the Thames, this iconic river that defines our City”, says Jenny Landreth, an ambassador for Thames Baths and author of “Swimming London: London’s Fifty Greatest Swimming Spots”. “It really feels like you swimming through history,” she says.
“And you don’t have to wear a wetsuit - from May onwards the temperature reaches the mid-teens and you won’t feel you want to die immediately when you get in! It’s all a question of pacing yourself, keeping within your comfort zone and not overdoing it.”
According to architect Chris Romer-Lee, who has raised £125,000 via a crowd funding campaign to build an open-air swimming pool on the Thames, London is experiencing an outdoor swimming revolution.
“Indoor pools have had their day and there’s a bit of a return back to the outdoors,” said the architect. “There’s definitely a demand for outdoor swimming”.
Romer-Lee’s current proposal is for a lido on the Victoria Embankment featuring two pools – a 25-metre lap pool and a training pool. Both will be filled with Thames water, filtered to ensure it is always clean enough.
He joined Jenny Landreth at the Houses of Parliament this week to support Labour MP Owen Smith - himself an avid ‘wild swimmer’ - to promote and foster open water swimming in the UK.
“It’s happening all over Europe, and in America. In New York, +Pools is planning to launch in 2020, and in Paris they are beginning to open up the canals in north of the city for ‘wild swimming’. The lynchpin was the opening of Copenhagen Harbour Baths, one of the pioneers, built to celebrate the clean-up of the city’s harbour water back in 2002.”
According to Romer-Lee, the Thames and dockland waterways comprise seven times the area of Hyde Park, representing “London’s largest open space with huge recreational potential for keeping people fit, active and healthy.”
For more information on docklands swimming, go to London Royal Docks Ows
London City Island scooped the coveted award for Best Development of the Year at the prestigious RESI Awards at London’s Grosvenor House Hotel last night, triumphing over nine other national shortlisted developments.
The RESI Awards, organised by Property Week and now in its sixth year, is the premier celebratory and networking event for the sector, attracting competitive entries from the best of British developers.
John Mulryan MD of Ballymore UK said:
“We are thrilled our commitment to invest in real neighbourhoods where people want to put down roots has been recognised. But London City Island is a more than just a place to live. Our vision was to encourage the cultural energy of east London to thrive and grow so it becomes a destination in its own right. With English National Ballet, the London Film School and the Line all making their home here, we believe we’ve created somewhere truly unique and a new benchmark for modern city living”.
Dubbed the mini-Manhattan of London, London City Island is a mixed-use riverside development with one of the best-connected transport links in London. Phase one, welcomed its first residents last year, bringing the developers’ commitment to ‘place making’ into focus. Phase two is currently under construction.
The new residential and cultural quarter comprises 1,700 homes, independent artisan restaurants and shops, with spaces to show public art, design installations and host ad-hoc creative performances.
The London Film School is relocating to the Island, joining English National Ballet and English National Ballet School, occupying architecturally outstanding rehearsal spaces designed to enable passers-by to experience the magic of ballet through floor-to-ceiling windows.
London City Island has a simple, strong and unique style, inspired by the waterside landscapes of Chicago’s Burnham Park and Manhattan. Bold colours link to the local area, replicating pigments used throughout Leamouth’s artisan and maritime history.
A new Italian deli & restaurant, The Island Grocer by Ballymore, was the first of the island’s leisure offerings to open, with service starting in November 2016. All residents are members of The City Island Arts Club, a residents’ club with concierge services, games room, lounge area, gym and red outdoor pool.
The triumph of London City Island builds on Ballymore Group’s success in winning the award for RESI’s Large Developer of the Year 2016, and was among the nine shortlisted companies for the Award this year.
Penthouse living has never looked so inviting - or so green.
Panoramic views, amenities to rival any five-star hotel and a private terrace are just some of the features offered to new owners of one of the penthouses at Wardian London, launching this week.
The 12 penthouses will grace the top storeys of Wardian London’s two towers, designed by award-winning architect Glenn Howells. This includes four three-bedroom and four two-bedroom apartments in the West Tower and three two-bedroom and one three-bedroom apartment in the East Tower.
But it’s the blend of exotic planting and a contemporary aesthetic of bold, clean lines that give the penthouses their real ‘wow’ factor.
The development is named after Dr Nathaniel Bagshaw Ward, inventor of the Wardian case – glass cases that, in the 19th Century, allowed plants to be transported to England from all around the world.
Landscape architect Huw Morgan has paid tribute to Ward by showcasing over 100 different species of plants in communal areas such as the swimming pool and atrium and bespoke planting schemes for individual apartments.
Recognising that people do not always have the time to maintain a roof garden, The Gardener, Wardian London’s landscaping service, is an example of how the developer has thought carefully about residents’ busy lifestyles.
Ballymore has commissioned a specialist team of designers to draw inspiration from its unique eco-concept. Using an earthy colour palette with natural organic materials, traditional craft techniques have been used to give the bespoke interiors an artisan’s touch with unlacquered marble, stone, brass and raw, shaved, organic timber, lending them to a hand-finished feel.
Location is another big selling point.
Overlooking South Quay, the offices, shops, bars and restaurants of Cabot Square are only a three-minute walk over the South Quay footbridge.
The area has excellent tube and light rail links to central London and when Crossrail opens next year connectivity will be even better.
All residents will become members of The Wardian Club whose facilities include a 25m open-air swimming pool, gym, cinema, two restaurants and a rooftop observatory bar. A 24-hour concierge service is also provided.
It’s a real luxury lifestyle because the location, views, planting and finishes add up to more than just a house in the sky. Together, they create a lifestyle like no other.
Blessed with a unique location on the Thames, it was the area’s rich history that gave Goodluck Hope its intriguing new name.
Goodluck Hope may sound like an exotic place in a pirate story. In fact Ballymore’s latest development in east London acquired its name back in the 14th century – and it has been a fascinating journey into the past to discover why.
Landscape architect Huw Morgan is a big fan of old maps and it was during his research of the area, known as Leamouth South, that he came across an historic map from the 1300s.
“I was looking at the original maps of the River Lee peninsula when I saw one section depicted as Goodluck Hope - or as it was called then Godelockhope”, explains Morgan, who shares a long association with Ballymore.
According to ancient records, the nine-acre site, directly to the south of Ballymore’s London City Island, was divided into two holdings, one described as a “hope of reeds” with a fishery, and the other as a farm for grazing.
The area has gone through many changes. But its extraordinary position on the sweeping bend of the Thames has meant it has had an almost continuous link with shipping with records of ships being unloaded here as early as 1297.
In the early 19th century, Goodluck Hope became part of the East India Docks through which the East India Company, founded in 1600, imported tea, spices, indigo, silk and Persian carpets.
Morgan says the area would have been dominated by a “walled warehouse complex” to protect valuable cargo. While nothing remains of the warehouses, it is the lingering memory of these exotic goods from India and China that has provided the inspiration for the development’s initial launch in June.
Visitors to the new Goodluck Hope marketing suite, housed in one of the few remaining reaming buildings, walk though a palm grove, a reference to the giant palms used by the East India Company to help sailors navigate, while tropical plants evoke all the imported goods from “parts of the world we knew nothing about,” explains Morgan.
Most of the time we never stop to think why a place is given a particular name. We take it for granted. But for Morgan, exploring a direct link with our cultural history goes much deeper than simple marketing - it creates an identity.
He explains that as well as shipping, Goodluck Hope was a community of manufacturers, from coopers to glassmakers and seed crushers to a sack and bag company.
It is this entrepreneurial spirit of traders and makers that will imbue the new Goodluck Hope, beginning with a brewery that will be located on the site of the old Orchard House pub.
“Goodluck Hope is our starting point. It is a very unique setting with a fascinating backstory. It gives us a strong narrative that has evolved and changed over time. And it’s these layers that add to the richness,” says Morgan, who has been working with architect Hal Currey to create the marketing suite.
And what about the area’s more recent history after the docks closed and industry moved away?
The construction of the docks cut the area off from the rest of Poplar. And until Ballymore built the ‘red bridge ‘ over Bow Creek, there was only one way in and out, which led to it being known as London’s “lost village”.
Putting Goodluck Hope on the map again is the first step in its reinvention as a place for laid-back living. But there is continuity too. The orchards, warehouses and factories may have gone but the sense of adventure and discovery lives on.
Ballymore invites bids from arts organisation for a permanent new base on its flagship Embassy Gardens development.
Ambitions to create a new cultural destination at Embassy Gardens has had a major boost with a fresh ‘call-out’ to organisations invited to pitch for a permanent residence on the development.
Bids from arts or creative organisations who can show how they will work with local communities are being invited to apply for the prize of occupying a 750 square metre cultural space in the heart of the development on Embassy Gardens at “peppercorn rents”, thanks to a legal agreement between Ballymore and Wandsworth Council.
The new cultural space is to be located next to the new US Embassy - which alone is expected to attract around 2,500 visitors a day - and its surrounding business quarter and the new Nine Elms linear park.
The new venue is one of several new creative spaces secured by Wandsworth Council as part of an area-wide cultural development strategy for Nine Elms.
Recently established cultural anchors in Nine Elms include the Royal College of Art’s StudioRCA at Riverlight while Battersea Arts Centre is partnering with Battersea Power Station to deliver a new Village Hall community space opening later this year.
The wider Nine Elms and Vauxhall area is already enjoying a blossoming arts scene. This includes Newport Street Gallery, Cabinet, Gasworks, Beaconsfield Gallery Vauxhall and Pump House Gallery in an emerging gallery quarter.
Ravi Govindia, leader of Wandsworth Council said: “For Nine Elms to become the lively, vibrant place we want it to be we need the right cultural partners in the area. We already have a wealth of assets on the doorstep, not least Battersea Power Station, New Covent Garden Market and Pump House Gallery, and we want to strengthen our cultural scene and welcome new creatives to Nine Elms.
“This call-out with Ballymore gives us another exciting opportunity. We are looking for an organisation that can really engage with our local communities and visitors. This space requires a year-round programme of public events that will bring this place to life, draw people in and showcase the best of London’s creative talent.”
Nine Elms, said by former Mayor Boris Johnson to represent “quite possibly the most important regeneration story in London, possibly in the UK, in the next 20 years”, encompasses a vast area, running from Lambeth Bridge, three kilometres down river to Chelsea Bridge, to the south and the reborn Battersea Power Station site. It will deliver 20,000 new homes and 6.5m sq.ft of commercial space.
Organisations must demonstrate commitment to existing local communities and year-round programming for public engagement, and to evidence financial stability.
Written applications must be received by Friday 28th April 2017. Shortlisted organisations will then be invited to an interview with a panel comprised of experts from the cultural sector, Wandsworth Council and Ballymore.
Chinese-born Zhenbai Li trained as an architect at Shenzen University and completed his studies at The Mackintosh School of Architecture, Glasgow. He has worked for Ballymore since 2014 as a design co-ordinator.
Why work for a developer when you could have been an architect?
While I was a student In China I worked for Vanke (China’s largest house builder). I was a trainee and it was a very intense time. But it made me realise it’s the developer who has the real responsibility for the built environment and making sure it works for people and this is what interests me.
Describe your role at Ballymore
I manage the design process and act as the co-ordinator between Ballymore and the architects. This means looking after the documents and drawings. I’m also responsible for the images and giving them a final polish. Architects express their ideas through drawings and 3-D models while Ballymore work with the best CGI studios in the world in order to communicate its ideas and vision.
What attracted you to the UK?
The RIBA had just started to open up post-graduate courses to overseas students and after finishing my architectural training in China I’d always intended to go abroad to study. I chose the Mac because it attaches great importance to drawing, handmade models and craftsmanship.
What do you like most about London?
I love its cultural diversity. You can make your own statement. There’s no right or wrong.
How long do you plan to stay here?
It’s a globalised world but at the moment the opportunities are here and I feel a responsibility to see through three projects I have been involved with since the start, which are Embassy Gardens, Wardian and London City Island.
How do you relax?
I promote Shen Yun (a Chinese classical dance and music company) to British audiences. Although I am a volunteer I get to travel all over the UK in my spare time and meet people who want to know about Chinese culture. This also gives me a chance to see other developments that are happening outside London, like shopping centres and students accommodation in British mid-towns. The Chinese are investing heavily in towns like Warwick and it’s a trend we can’t ignore.
What’s your favourite part of London?
I like the area around Notting Hill Gate and Kensington. The architecture is so different to what I’m used to growing up in Shenzhen where it’s mainly high-rise. I like the fact it’s spacious and there are gardens.
What about a favourite building?
The new British Museum wing by Rogers Stirk Harbour & Partners because it shows respect for the existing buildings and it’s beautifully detailed. Norman Foster is one of my favourite architects and I like Victoria House (Grade 11 listed building with an interior by Will Alsop) which is near where I live in Holborn
What have you learnt working with Ballymore?
The importance of loyalty and responsibility
Plan a fun filled day out in one of London’s most vibrant new districts from outdoor jazz to one of the largest inner-city farms in Europe.
Crossrail Place Roof Garden
The garden is almost exactly on the Meridian Line and is laid out so you can see which hemisphere the exotic plants came from - many are native to countries that ships once sailed to and from the West India Docks.
Theatre and music events for all ages are staged in the 60-seater performance space, and the Bloom festival, which runs from May to August and is organised by Space, an arts and community centre on the Isle of Dogs, sees community events, family shows, workshops and performances.
More information: Canary Wharf Group
Made London Contemporary Design and Craft Fair
A showcase of bespoke craft work and design at Canada Square Park.
17-20 March and 22-25 March.
Family Summer Festival
A summer celebration of outdoor music, dance, song and theatre performances for all the family, featuring the Royal Albert Hall’s Band, puppet shows and a showcase from students of the Royal Academy of Dance.
Weekends from 16 July - 7 August.
Canary Wharf Jazz Festival
London’s largest free jazz festival returns to Canada Square Park this summer, with Soweto Kinch, Omar Puente and Carleen Anderson all part of the line up over the three days.
Nashville Meets London Music Festival
The sound of country music rocks the City at this two-day festival at Canada Square Park. The line-up sees established artists perform alongside new talent from the UK and Nashville.
The Everyman cinema has a wide programme that includes family and children’s favourites.
Throughout summer the big screens in Canada Square Park show a programme that includes action from Wimbledon, films, entertainment, live opera from the Royal Opera House and other cultural events.
Museum of Docklands
Located in a former sugar warehouse on the West India Docks, the museum tells the history of the River Thames and the growth of Docklands. There are free family events most weekends. Visit Mudlarks, the interactive gallery for children up to 12 and their families and “Sailortown”, a dockside street from the mid 19th century.
Mud Chute Farm
Set in 32 acres of countryside, Mudchute Park and Farm is one of the largest inner city farms in Europe, with over 100 animals and fowl and a collection of British rare breeds.
Art at Canary Wharf
Canary Wharf has one of the largest collections of public art in the UK. Download a map and discover works by a wide range of contemporary artists.
Docklands Light Railway
Take a trip on the DLR - you can get a seat right at the front as these are driverless trains.
Experience the sights of the river on London’s Riverbus, which stops at Canary Wharf pier. Waterloo is just 30 minutes away.
Top healthy eating chefs Jasmine and Melissa Hemsley demonstrated their approach to food and how to create the perfect Italian-inspired spring feast at a special workshop held at The Island Grocer by Ballymore.
When did your passion for food begin?
Jasmine: Our Mum’s Filipino, Dad’s English and was in the Army, They are both old fashioned, frugal and eat what’s put in front of them, but also love trying new stuff.
Melissa: Our Dad grew up all over the world and had a big love for Georgian food, Russian food, and Polish food. Between them, our parents probably covered the whole world. We weren’t a family of recipe books, but we always had cooking TV shows on like Ready Steady Cook and we loved Naked Chef and Rick Stein.
What was the first thing you cooked?
Jasmine: Mum started going to work and Dad had to look after us on Saturdays and after about three Saturdays of only eating pork pies, I decided to cook. Mum said she came home and a bottle of wine or vinegar was out and I think I cooked fried white rice or maybe it was risotto, with either vinegar or wine and I had grated my knuckles grating the cheese.
What’s your favourite dish?
Jasmine: I love curries and peasant food, especially casseroles and stews. But I would never say no to a seafood platter or a really good rib-eye.
Melissa: Proper roast chicken. I haven’t had one for ages, but I love a proper lemony garlicky roast chicken, with very crispy skin.
What ingredients would you never be without?
Melissa: Lemon juice - and salt, butter and eggs, because if in doubt, make scrambled eggs.
How would you describe your approach to food?
Melissa: Very relaxed, but thoughtful, flexible. The whole point of our recipes is that you can adapt them to yourself and never feel restricted.
Jasmine: We’re really keen on food provenance and championing farm to table, nose to tail and understanding that fats are really good for you and busting those myths.
What’s your signature dish?
Melissa: We’re really known for broth and spiralising but some of our famous dishes are the black bean brownies, avocado lime cheesecake and bagna cauda, which is a creamy anchovy dip.
Jasmine: There’s also Pablo’s chicken, which is our version of Southern friend chicken, the courgette ragu and celeriac setti, which we pronounce however we want because it’s a made up word!
Are friends intimidated by the idea of cooking for you?
Melissa: I don’t think any of my friends are intimidated by me at all. I love being cooked for, I love being told what to eat.
What makes you stressed?
Jasmine: Travelling and having to learn a whole load of new names and faces, or turning up and realising they’ve got orange blossom extract, not orange, it’s not going to taste right.
What do you do to relax?
Jasmine: Yoga, meditation and because we’ve got three dogs, long walks.
Melissa: Yoga, dogs and watching TV. I never used to watch it, but my boyfriend loves watching it and I’m obsessed with this programme called Dinner Dates.
Any guilty pleasures?
Jasmine: My thing is a croissant. I recently went to Padella in Borough Market and had my first pasta in a year, maybe longer. The one I had a year ago didn’t make me think I’d missed anything, but this was delicious.
Does the bad press clean eating has received recently concern you?
Melissa: Clean eating is a term that has been misused and no one has really defined it. We took it to mean without pesticides and so on but some people have taken it to mean an extreme way of eating, with no fats. We like butter and fat, you’re supposed to eat the skin on the chicken, we don’t eat refined sugars, but we like sweet treats.
Terry Walker, senior fitness coach at London City Island’s newly opened health club, almost became a professional footballer before finding his feet in the fitness business.
What got you into fitness coaching?
It all started as a boy. I had a childhood obsession with all things sport, especially football. I was signed by Watford FC as a teenager and went on to play for Basildon and Redbridge as a central midfielder until a knee injury put paid to that.
I also had ambitions to be a freelance writer, studying part time for a University of Greenwich degree. But circumstances changed and that’s when I decided to really put my head into the fitness business.
How long have you been working for Ballymore?
I joined Ballymore as a fitness coach nine years ago after qualifying at Premier Training International. I started at the health club on Pan Peninsula, one of Ballymore’s first flagship docklands developments on South Quay. It’s still one of the biggest residential gym clubs of its kind.
Then I had a senior role as team leader in charge of four full time and three part time staff at New Providence Wharf, an exclusive private gym catering for its 3,000 residents.
Since last November I have been overseeing the launch of London City Island’s new purpose-built health club that opened two weeks ago.
But I have also been working on the transitional launch of the new ‘power gym’ Athletics Club on New Providence Wharf, which launches in May. It will have six full time trainers working across several buildings – Michigan, Charrington Tower and Ontario – with a brand-new collection of all the latest and greatest in techno-gym equipment, including the ‘skill mill’, a treadmill which uses a person’s own momentum. It’s a more fundamental approach to training.
What’s the secret of being a good personal trainer?
To be a successful coach in my job at Ballymore, it’s a case of being very, very engaged with the client. In this environment it’s not just a gym but an extension of the home. It’s about asking clients about their day, becoming more of a coach therapist, becoming part of a bigger family.
The thing to remember is that the gym here is a social hub, a place where people let their hair down, forget their business heads for a while or arguing with the concierge about a parcel delivery!
What advice do you give people who want to keep fit?
It’s mainly about consistency. And what a lot people don’t realise is the importance of nutrition habits. They have to drastically change. People think it’s 90 per cent exercise and 10 per cent nutrition. But really it’s the other way around if you want to get the body you want.
What can residents look forward to at London City Island?
We are going to be one of the first clubs to have a three-stage induction: a general overview of health and safety and equipment; then a client-specific survey of appropriate equipment with a trainer; followed by a free personal training session, reviewed after four and eight and 12 weeks.
There’s quite a lot else to look forward to. We will be offering swimming coaching and classes in our new outdoor pool, and classes in Tai Chi, Yoga and Pilates to build the whole mind-and-body approach.
We hear ‘Step Aerobics’, made popular in the 80s by Jane Fonda, is having a resurgence. Can that really be true?
Yes, everything comes and goes. Actually, we have got someone amongst our staff that is very good at Step Aerobics, so we’ll definitely be up for that! Anyway, we do surveys and client feedback all the time to make sure we keep up to date.
London City Island residents were treated to an evening of special screenings of short films in association with The London Film School in advance of the school’s move to the area this autumn.
Eight ‘shorts’, including major contenders for awards at this year’s Cannes and Berlin Film Festivals, were screened to more than 40 newly arrived residents of London City Island, which is fast becoming London’s newest cultural hub. As well as the London Film School, English National Ballet and its Ballet School are also re-locating to London City Island this year.
“Short films are having a huge renaissance,” said Amy Hemmer, manager of Future Shorts, the Hackney-based network that put on the screenings in partnership with the LFS. Since launching just over a decade ago, the company has grown into the world’s largest network for short films.
“There was a great turnout of new residents just moved into London City Island,” said Amy. “It was very laid back and cosy with some people watching the films on beanbags and staying on afterwards to join in conversations discussing the films. It was a really great way of bringing the new community together,” said Amy.
She welcomed “positive on-going talks with Ballymore about making the screenings a regular thing” at LFS. “Shorts are now gaining a huge popularity, especially with platforms like YouTube and Vimeo where you can watch with easy access for three minutes to 20 minutes, instead of spending hours in the cinema”, said Amy.
Just to illustrate how ‘shorts’ are fast becoming a major port-of-entry to Hollywood success for emerging film makers, Damien Chazelle, Best Director at this year’s BAFTAs for La La Land, first cut his teeth on an 18-minute short, premiered at the 2013 Sundance Festival, that went on to become Whiplash, the frantic story of a young jazz drummer.
Ballymore and the LFS are also discussing proposals to set up a four-part film making workshop series on LCI, starting in September. The series will be potentially partnered with Little White Lies, a 15,000-circulation bi-monthly for movie lovers, or Total Film/Empire.
Workshops of 15 people being discussed are: Writing for the Screen; Visual Storytelling, working with a classic film director; Animation, working with London City Island resident Tim Allen; and Filming on an IPhone, working with LFS graduate Fred Van Stridock, who made his graduate film on his mobile.
The LFS’s new home on London City Island will accommodate 220 students, along with over 55 staff, from over 60 countries when it opens in October. Students will study filmmaking, screenwriting and film business in the new purpose-built space which will include two cinemas.
Working on a building site can be a dangerous business – and the bigger the project, the greater the risk. But at Ballymore’s Royal Wharf, one of London’s most ambitious construction sites where nearly 3,500 new homes are going up, it has achieved the impressive milestone of one million man-hours without a RIDDOR reportable accident, some achievement for Scott Barnett, the site’s Health and Safety Manager, and his deputy, Daniel Bent.
What is your role?
I am the senior safety manager at Royal Wharf, responsible for more than 1,800 construction workers on site, one of the biggest I have ever worked on. I’ve been in this business for 20 years and it’s not often you get to the one million mark so it’s very nice when you do. It gives you the feeling you are actually making a difference.
How do you safeguard against accidents?
We have a lot of contractors on site and we make sure they all pull together as far as possible, making sure they keep their side of the bargain. We have weekly tool box talks on various subjects including PPE – Personal Protection Equipment, that’s gloves, glasses, hard hats, high-vis vests and appropriate footwear.
What are the common sorts of accidents?
The most common are cuts and grazes from tools and materials. That’s the majority. Although we want to reduce all accidents –it’s really the bigger injuries we want to avoid, what we call RIDDORs – Reports of Injuries, Diseases, and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations. These are classified as fractures of the bone (not fingers or toes), contagious diseases, (not many of them!), and things like vehicle overturns and scaffolding collapse. Reportable accidents would also include someone off work for more than seven days as result of a site injury.
What’s your secret in making the milestone?
I’d love to say it was all down to me, but it’s a team effort, along with the contractors. We all work together to make sure the site is as safe as possible - and of course my deputy Daniel Bent who is a great support.
Does the scale of a development like Royal Wharf present special risks?
Basically, we are building a whole village down here with private roads, town houses, tower blocks, right next to the river and there are many challenges that we have to deal with
Do the seasons make a difference? Is it more dangerous in winter?
The seasons each have different issues. When it is colder, the ground conditions can become slippery and muddy in places, but not really more dangerous than any other time as we ensure that the walkways are gritted and cleaned. In summer when it heats up, dust can become an issue and we damp down the roads. We also have to make sure the workforce is properly hydrated, that they get enough water.
Physiologist and leading sleep and energy coach Dr Nerina Ramlakhan believes it’s not just your nighttime routine but what you do during the day that affects the quality of your sleep.
Her recent book Fast Asleep, Wide Awake contains techniques and insights she has learnt working with everyone from burnt-out City workers, stressed-out mums, Premiership footballers and MPs to ensure they get the right type of sleep.
Why focus on sleep?
I had huge problems sleeping, and ended up studying it. I didn’t set out to be a sleep expert, but I noticed that I not only had curiosity about sleep, but had a knack for solving people’s sleep problems and there was a need for it.
We are designed to spend a third of our life sleeping, so sleep is very important. There is an innate intelligence in the design of our sleep in that it has to capacity to repair and heal the body at every level, physical, mental, emotional and spiritual.
What is a good night’s sleep?
Good, pure sleep gives us the capacity to heal our lives and live with extraordinary energy. It’s not just about getting sleep, it’s about getting pure sleep. We sleep in 90 minute cycles and each cycle consists of light sleep, rapid eye movement (REM) sleep and deep sleep. Pure or ‘clean’ sleep is about having the right amount of these three components.
Are people more sleep deprived then they were 20 years ago?
I think people are more deep sleep deprived, or clean sleep deprived. We are getting enough sleep in beautiful, highly scientifically engineered beds, but it’s not enough of the right, clean deep sleep.
How big a problem is it?
There have been lots of surveys, but roughly, they’re pointing to the fact that a third of people in the UK say at some point in their lives they’ve had problems sleeping and more than 50 per cent of people say they are tired when they wake up in the morning.
Is our use of screens affecting our sleep?
Absolutely, that’s why I have become so busy. People don’t know how to stop or how to rest. They don’t know how to watch one screen, they always feel that they have to be doing something.
Do people want to talk to you about their sleep problems when you meet them?
They do, so I’m a bit careful these days about who I tell, but then again I am fascinated, so I can be my own worst enemy at times
What is your advice to people who say they can’t sleep at night?
Learn how to rest, that’s the most important thing. The average human being wakes 10 to 15 times a night, so it’s perfectly normal to wake up. If you can’t get back to sleep, get up, go to the loo, then go back to bed and allow yourself to drift back into a state of rest.
What is the one thing you shouldn’t do?
Don’t put the lights on and DO NOT check the time because the minute you to it brings you into wakefulness.
How do you relax?
I relax very actively and have also worked on more gentle relaxation, which might be a yoga session, sitting reading a book, I dance and I’m a climber so I climb indoors and outdoors. I do run, but not the distances I used to, because I’ve decided to be kinder to my body.
Fast Asleep, Wide Awake is published by HarperCollins, price £12.99
Dr Ramlakhan shared her expertise and knowledge at Ballymore’s Masterclass in Wellness on February 4.
Rachel Vosper, a leading British candle chandler and founder of her own candle boutique in Belgravia, has created a signature fragrance for Wardian London influenced by the development’s namesake.
How would you describe the Wardian fragrance?
Ferns and mosses were [creator of the Wardian case Dr Nathaniel Bagshaw] Ward’s passion, so we decided on a fern-based fragrance. It’s fresh green scent with mossy overtones and a touch of Cedar wood. Think cool lushness of the forest floor, with dew on the ferns mixed with a floral hint relating to the Kokedamas.
How did you come to be a candle maker?
I met a candle maker when I was living in Barbados and that was it, really. I ended up taking on her business. I’d only gone to Barbados for six months but ended up staying four years. Back in the UK, I worked in publishing and luxury travel PR, but at the weekends I would dash to my studio in Devon and make my candles, pack them and send them to clients - it was crazy, but I was so passionate about it.
What is candle etiquette?
It’s what you should do to get the best from a candle, but no one pays attention to the information on the packaging, in the same way that they don’t read instructions for a TV when they unpack it. It’s really just educating people about things like trimming your wicks and keeping them to the right length.
How realistic is it to make your own candles?
Often people buy all the kit, but eventually come back to me for their candles and tell me the kit is gathering dust somewhere. I don’t try to dampen people’s enthusiasm when they say they want to make their own candle, but they often discover that it’s more joyful - and easier - to buy them. It can be messy - I wouldn’t recommend using your kitchen - and I’ve got one foot covered in wax right now.
What is your favourite fragrance?
I tend to go for something basic and generic like dama de noche. Being a candle maker is a bit like being a chef, you don’t want to go home and eat your own food, so I like to try out other people’s scents, and really like Otto by Fornasetti.
What do you do to relax?
I like to get my headphones on and go for a jog or a run. My work is very physical, so I don’t need to exercise - for me it’s about relaxing. I’m also very strict and don’t work at the weekend. Spending time with my daughter, who is three, is my best therapy. She distracts me completely.
Are expensive candles always the best?
For a good candle, it’s important to look at the ingredients, see if they are made of natural beeswax, for instance. The ingredients are key, but fashion also plays a big part, and you pay for the brand.
The Silvertown explosion in 1917 was the largest blast ever to occur in London when 50 tonnes of TNT blew up at a local purifying factory, killing 73 people and damaging over 70,000 local properties.
At precisely 6.52 pm on January 19, 2017, a two-minute silence took place at a special centenary commemoration to mark the site of the disaster at Royal Wharf in Newham, east London.
The ceremony heard from historian Malcolm Graham, Sir Hugo Brunner, the great-grandson of JT Brunner, chairman of Brunner Mond, owners of the factory where the explosion took place, Sir Robin Wales, Mayor of Newham and John Mulryan, MD of Ballymore UK, developers of Royal Wharf.
This short film is the first in a new series called #ballymorestories about the people and places behind our projects.
The full story of the Silvertown Explosion can be read here.
Ballymore is hosting a special service at Royal Wharf to commemorate those who died in the largest blast ever to occur in London.
“It was dreadful. Talk about bombing, that was nothing. The whole of Silvertown was one big blood red explosion. To me, it was like the end of the world”.
These are the words of a local eyewitness to the catastrophic Silvertown explosion in 1917, the largest blast ever to occur in London when 50 tonnes of TNT blew up at a local purifying factory, killing 73 people and damaging over 70,000 local properties. The explosion was so enormous it blew out windows in the Savoy and could be heard as far away as Sandringham and Southampton.
At precisely 6.52 pm on January 19, the exact time of the explosion, a moment’s silence will take place at a special centenary commemoration, organised by Ballymore, whose Royal Wharf development is on the site where the factory once stood. A wreath will also be laid at the Silvertown War Memorial to be attended by families of the victims, East Ham MP Stephen Timms and John Mulryan, Ballymore UK MD.
Sir Hugo Brunner, the great-grandson of JT Brunner, chairman of Brunner Mond, owners of the factory- and those who had repeatedly warned the Government of the dangers of treating TNT on the site – will also be in attendance, together with the Mayor of Newham, Sir Robin Wales and other members of Newham Council.
“This was the largest explosion ever to occur on London soil,” explained Vyki Sparkes, the Museum of London Docklands curator of social and working history.
“Had it occurred in the working day, even more people would have been killed. In any event, it was a total disaster for the area. At first nobody knew what caused it – an air raid, German sabotage. There was a climate of secrecy and fear”.
Brunner Mond had been manufacturing caustic soda at the factory since 1893 but during the acute shell shortages of 1915, were commandeered by the War Office to reopen the factory to purify TNT, a practice even more dangerous than manufacture itself.
“Scientists at the company were writing to the government almost weekly to stress the dangers, especially in a densely populated area”, said Sparkes.
The explosion happened after fire broke out in the melt-pot room with TNT loaded onto waiting goods wagons. The plant was destroyed instantly, as were many nearby buildings, including the Silvertown Fire Station and a local church. Debris was strewn for miles around, with red-hot chunks of rubble causing fires. A gasholder was set on fire on Greenwich Peninsula, creating a fireball from 200,000 cubic metres of gas.
Seventy-three people were killed, sixty-nine instantly and four later from their injuries and more than 400 injured. Up to 70,000 properties were damaged, 900 nearby ones completely destroyed or damaged beyond repair. It was not until the 1950s that a report was finally published under the 30-year-rule describing the purifying process as “unsafe”.
Thousands were left homeless, requiring temporary accommodation in schools, churches, and other similar places. More than 1,700 men were employed in the reconstruction task by February. Some £3m in aid was paid to those affected by the blast, equivalent to approximately £40m in 2007, of which a third was paid to local businesses and factories, including the Royal Docks where goods across 17 acres were destroyed.
“Despite being utterly devastated, the local community swung into action in a great example of East End ‘grit’, setting up temporary homes with the Red Cross and the Salvation Army, and evacuating homeless children,” said Sparkes.
On 20 June 1917, Andrea Angel, the plant’s chief chemist, who was attending to the initial fire, was posthumously awarded the Edward Medal (First Class).
The company fought off competition from property developers around the world, including BPM in Australia and Swiss Property in Europe.
The decision to crown Ballymore was made by an esteemed panel of eminent judges including Lord Caithness who currently sits on the UK Government’s Communications committee.
The property developer launched its new online portal earlier in the year following a full rebrand. The website was developed as a content-rich platform, moving away from the ‘shop window’ format adopted by others in the industry.
To preserve content quality, articles on the site are written by influencers in the sector including critic Jonathan Glancey and architect Kent Jackson of SOM; each piece is curated by the site’s content director – former BD editor, Amanda Baillieu.
Ballymore head of communications Hayleigh O’Farrell explained: “I am delighted that we have won this award, a truly wonderful testament to the hard work that went into creating the website.
“Our new site was always intended to be more than just a showcase. We wanted to create something packed with inspiring stories and interviews that give our visitors a greater insight into design, arts and architecture. Drawing on her contacts and experience in the sector, Amanda has brought all her editorial experience to ensure Ballymore’s site has content that is engaging, insightful and very readable ‘.
Ballymore’s victory comes just two months after it was awarded the UK Property Award for best developer website. Earlier in the year, the company was also awarded the Large Developer of the Year accolade at RESI and named the Evening Standard Business Awards’ developer of the year.
Concluded Ballymore Chairman, Sean Mulryan, “2016 has been a pivotal year for Ballymore, we unveiled our new brand identity at the beginning of the year and our new website reflects this evolved company ethos. We believe our new brand and website truly encapsulates the company’s core values of art, culture and design, we are thrilled that our success has been recognised with this award win. This year we have completed more than 2,000 homes across our London development, and we have 7,000 more homes under construction, we have high hopes for 2017 and are looking forward to a busy start to the year.”
A £20 million light installation promises to breath new life into the River Thames and bring the capital’s ambitions to be a 24-hour city that bit closer.
A team led by world renowned US light artist Leo Villareal and London-based architect Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands has won a design competition that will see London’s bridges lit up along the length of the River Thames.
The winner of the Illuminated River design competition was announced by the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, on Wednesday (November 7th) and will begin work on its plans for a £20 million light installation running the length of the river next year.
Called Current, the slowly moving and colour-changing lighting scheme will be synchronised across 17 pedestrian, road and rail crossings from Albert Bridge -close to Ballymore’s riverside development Nine Elms and extend to Tower Bridge.
Villareal, is best known for The Bay Lights project, a 1.8 mile long installation of 25,000 white LED lights which lit San Francisco Bay Bridge for two years from 2013, returning permanently earlier this year. His work, Cylinder II was part of a Lightshow, a traveling international exhibition organised by London’s Hayward Gallery.
LDS has worked on a number of riverside projects, including the Southbank and designed the Jubilee footbridges, which link the South Bank with Charing Cross station - experience that was not lost on the judges, said Hannah Rothschild, chair of the Illuminated River Foundation: “Leo Villareal’s proven ability to paint with light matched with Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands’ direct experience of building bridges over the Thames was an irresistible and inspirational combination,” she said.
“The whole team shares a belief in the power of large-scale public culture and art to enrich our cities,” said Villareal, adding that the team will take time to study the river “in all its manifestations” as it begins to develop its design concepts before going out to public consultation next year.
“We want to listen to Londoners in developing the scheme to deliver at all levels of art and light, urban design and architecture, the environment and sustainability,” he said. “Our aim is for a lighting masterplan which reduces pollution and wasted energy, is sensitive to history and ecology and subtly rebalances the ambient lighting on the river to provide a beautiful night time experience for residents and visitors.”
Rothschild said the project would “transform” the Thames after dark: “At night, the river becomes a ribbon of darkness, a place that few enjoy and at odds with the ambition to make London a 24-hour city,” she said. “This project will bring light, energy, beauty and recreation to the river and at the flick of a switch transform the city at night.”
The Line, the capital’s first dedicated contemporary sculpture walk, will extend to London City Island next year. It’s co-founder, Megan Piper, explains its significance for the area.
How did you become involved in setting up a dedicated sculpture walk?
I set up The Line with a friend, Clive Dutton, who at the time was head of regeneration at Newham Council. I went to talk to him about what was going on in East London post-Olympics and what the future looked like for the area and we got talking about a sculptural strategy and vision outside of the Olympic Park.
When he retired in 2013 we decided to join forces and set up The Line. We worked together for about 18 months but sadly he passed away two weeks after we opened. Originally we called it ‘Inside Outside’, bringing works that were squirreled away, hidden from public view in warehouses and artists’ studios to bring them outside so that they could be enjoyed by everyone.
What’s the route of the The Line?
The project very loosely follows the line of the Greenwich Meridian, running north-south, which is why it’s called The Line, bookended by the Olympic Park and the O2. All of the work is sited next to water so the route follows the River Lea and the canals, and then goes into the Royal Docks and then we have works along the Thames Path by the O2, linked of course by the cable car. And when we launch at London City Island, you’ll be able to join there and head up towards the Olympic Park. It’s going to be a three to four hour walk - depending on how fit you are!
How many works of art are we talking about?
At the moment, there are about 11 but we’re aiming for about 30, establishing the line as an art walk with some exciting plans for the next couple of years which include extending The Line to London City Island by the end of next year, to be timed when English National Ballet and The London Film School move there.
It’s all outdoors, so the whole idea is that it’s free, open and accessible for everyone to enjoy. Eventually we want to include other mediums beyond sculpture, including film, perhaps performance, making use of indoor gallery spaces and to run an exhibition programme.
Why did you choose this part of London?
It really grew out of my relationship with Clive and his knowledge and experience in the area, being a figure who was really appreciated locally and who could make introductions to various local organisations and groups. At Newham, he had already generated a map plotting locations that might be possible to site sculpture.
How have the works been selected?
The first works came from an open submission where we invited artists and galleries and private collections to propose works which came before a selection panel, which I chaired but included the Turner Prize winning artist Mark Wallinger, a local resident, a critic and a curator. For the local resident, we proposed Simon Myers, who lives on the river and runs Cody Docks, just north of LCI, which is an inspiring example of community regeneration with over 3,000 volunteers through their doors, clearing a disused dock and establishing community gardens, a café, an art school and gallery.
Now I have two curators, Susie Allen and Laura Culpan, who run Artwise, and they are leading the long term curatorial vision for the project for the 2017/18 programme. We generally borrow works for two to three years, and they have to be robust, outdoor works that are suitable to being outdoors in the public realm. But it is really the curators that make that selection and not me.
Susie and Laura have been going 20 odd years in commissioning work in the public realm, curating a large number of exhibitions, they have developed corporate collections, acquiring works and working very closely with artists and have an extensive network to engage in the project.
What about the plan to have an artist in residence?
Yes - it’s still being defined by Ballymore with Susie and Laura but it is fantastic that there will be an artist in residence programme running at London City Island. It will provide an artist with a unique opportunity to work in a stimulating environment of huge urban transformation with a focussed period of studio practice in that vicinity.
What do you do to relax?
I read books, and I like outdoor swimming. I’m an ambassador for Thames Baths as a committed outdoor swimmer. The organisation is about proposed lidos along the River Thames. But at the moment I go to Brockwell Lido and Parliament Hill. It’s very cold but I love it, it’s invigorating.
What artists do you think we’ll be talking about in 2017?
I think we are going to be hearing a lot about Helen Marten, this year’s winner of the Turner Prize and the Hepworth Prize for Sculpture, especially as she has said she will be sharing her prize money with her fellow nominees. I think it will encourage a new way of thinking about art prizes in 2017.
Finally, what advice do you have for budding art dealers?
Spend as much time as possible going to private shows, travelling to international art fairs, viewing work of artists, going to their studios, going to galleries, museums and commercial galleries but chiefly seeing as many art fairs as you can handle.
Nine Elms, described by the former London Mayor Boris Johnson as “quite possibly the most important regeneration story in London, possibly in the UK, in the next 20 years”, encompasses a vast area, running from Lambeth Bridge, three kilometres down river to Chelsea Bridge, to the south and the reborn Battersea Power Station site.
Give me some history
Nine Elms has existed as a settlement on the Thames for hundreds of years and derives its name from a row of trees that once bordered the main road. The most historic part is Vauxhall because of Vauxhall Gardens, the first and most significant of the true ‘pleasure gardens’ of Georgian London.The only remaining vestige of those heady days is Brunswick House, a Grade 11* listed building which still looms in isolated grandeur as you emerge from Vauxhall tube. Named after the Duke of Brunswick, who bought the house in 1811, the building later became a post office, then the headquarters of the Great Western Railway, a local working men’s club and finally a squat before being bought 15 years ago and resurrected by Ferrous Auger, founder of the architectural salvage and supply company, LASSCO. He also runs a restaurant and bar where customers wine and dine beneath a glittering array of antique chandeliers.
If I get off at Vauxhall tube what else can I see?
I’d start by walking along the river to Embassy Gardens from where you can see the new American Embassy, which is due to finish next spring. You’ll also walk past New Covent Garden Market that moved to the area in 1974 from Covent Garden and is also being redeveloped. A new Flower Market will open in February 2017 and the Fruit and Veg Market in 2020.
What about green space?
A key element of the Nine Elms master plan is the linear park, which runs the length of Embassy Gardens and ends at Battersea Park. It will create green open spaces, gardens and walkways and of course, there’s the Thames itself. When the whole river path is opened up around Battersea Station, you’ll be able to walk from one end of Nine Elms to the other in 40 minutes.
So the area is pretty much in a state of flux?
Yes, that’s right. When people think of Nine Elms they think of cranes because there’s so much construction going on. This includes 20,000 new homes, two new tube stations at Battersea Power Station and Nine Elms on the Northern Line extension and possibly a new pedestrian and cycle bridge – fittingly on the site where the first bridge across the Thames was built 3,000 years ago.
So all of what you see today, with a few exceptions is new?
Yes, but big names pioneers are rediscovering Vauxhall’s Victorian backstreets. Most famous is British artist Damien Hirst, whose Newport Street Gallery occupies a former theatre carpentry and scenery painting workshops with an extension by architect Caruso St John. The gallery won the RIBA Stirling Prize for Britain’s best new building this year. In the same road there’s the Beaconsfield Gallery based in the former Ragged School and not far away there’s Gasworks that provides studio space for London-based artists and also has exhibitions.
Are there any other cultural landmarks?
It’s hard to beat Battersea Power Station – it’s one of London’s most famous landmarks – which will be Apple’s new home when 1,400 Apple employees move into the power station’s central boiler house in 2021. But there’s plenty else to see. One of my favourites is the old London Fire Brigade headquarters on the Albert Embankment built in 1935 and is now undergoing a multimillion-pound residential redevelopment, which will include a new brigade museum.
We’ve talked a lot about buildings but does anyone live in Nine Elms?
Of course and the number is growing every day! Embassy Gardens is a great example of the new communities slowly taking shape but a stone’s throw away is a small 100-strong community of artists, designers, filmmakers and writers living on a dozen or so houseboats and barges on the Tideway Village at Nine Elms Pier. One of these is Sophie Dunster who remembers spending all her weekends as a child sanding and painting the boats when the area was an industrial wasteland, now runs her own fashion label Gung Ho from her studio in a steel container atop of the Pier.
And what do people like Sophie think about the area’s transformation?
Everybody agrees that the area needs to have its own identity. It’s not like other parts of London where the majority of buildings have been standing for more than 100 years. So much of Nine Elms is brand new. That’s the view of Sophie’s dad, Bill Dunster, the award-winning architect who is a director of the company that owns the Pier. “We need a bohemian vibe down here”, says Bill, who hopes to start a new open-air jazz restaurant on the Pier. “We need to celebrate the vitality of all the artists, musicians and interesting people who inhabit the Pier as part of the regeneration. I would love to see more new coffee shops, pubs, galleries and alternative things that add up to make London the exciting place it is.”
Architect Kent Jackson is Design Director of American firm, SOM. Kent joined SOM’s London office from Chicago in 1999. One of the first projects he worked on was the masterplan for New Providence Wharf, Ballymore’s mixed-use development in London’s Docklands and home to the newly launched Top Three Floors collection of apartments.
How has London changed in the time you’ve been living here?
SOM came to London in 1996, the year of Big Bang when the Stock Market was deregulated. At that time we were doing more office than residential development, including Broadgate and Canary Wharf. As a result of the City becoming an international financial centre, London has become more diverse. In terms of buildings it’s evolution has been amazing, from the O2 Centre to Tate Modern and tall buildings.
How would you describe SOM’s London office?
We have a 100 people in London including architects, structural engineers and interior designers. We see ourselves as an atelier. We never turn our back on a good idea, there is always open discussion and projects are better because of this. We like to think we mentor our ideas along.
Do you think the British share American’s enthusiasm for tall buildings?
In the UK there used to be a stigma attached to tall buildings. And you have to remember that London is not a high-rise city, like New York or Chicago where people have been living in towers for two or three generations. In London, you can get a view of London from 5 storeys. But a development like Providence Tower shows how the character of London is changing.
What’s so special about Providence Tower?
Providence Tower is last piece of the puzzle. Each building stands on its own merits, but this is the jewel in the crown. The building’s form allows amazing panoramic views of the riverfront. Every apartment has a riverfront view and because of its scalloped façade, none of the balconies are overlooked. And it’s also one the first developments that has embraced the Thames. Industry turned its back on the River and we have spent that last 20 years stitching it back into the city.
What do you enjoy most about living in London?
I can’t say I know every neighbourhood but that’s what London is like. On Saturday mornings I like to wander about the City when there’s no traffic and it’s empty and I can feel the history seeping through the walls. The walk across the bridges Somerset House to Waterloo Station is one of my favourites
What would be your dream commission?
It’s the projects that slip through your fingers that you always want to do but you also want commissions that allow you to dream, visionary projects that allow you to explore ideas.
What advice would you give an aspiring architect?
You have to be passionate about what you do and not sit on your credentials or repeat what you do. Architecture is about thinking of things that haven’t been created but you also need the passion to see a project through to the end.
Site manager Martin O’Byrne has been recognised for the “dedication and expertise” he brings to his work at London City Island.
Selected from among more than 16,000 UK site managers, O’Byrne was one of 13 to receive a Seal of Excellence at the NHBC Pride in the Job Awards 2016 at a ceremony at Park Plaza Riverbank earlier this month.
The award was in recognition of his work as shell and core project manager at the new island neighbourhood currently underway at Leamouth Peninsula close to Canary Wharf. O’Byrne, who has been based at London City Island for two years and worked on Embassy Gardens Phase One and Wapping Phase One previously, said the award was an endorsement of the whole team and the high standards they maintain:
“It has my name on it, but it’s for the whole team working on the project,” said O’Byrne, who has worked with Ballymore for 18 years. “It’s all to do with the quality of the project here, and it’s the attention to detail and the staff with their technical knowledge that really got us the award.”
Congratulating O’Byrne on his win, NHBC Regional Director Mehban Chowdery said: “The fact that winners are automatically entered into the competition based on the results of their work onsite is a huge endorsement for all winners.
It’s been a tough year of judging starting way back in July 2015 and it’s a long hard road to win a Pride in the Job Award. The Awards recognise site managers who know how to go one stage better, whose hard work ensures we live in high quality homes and rewards dedication and expertise.”
As dancers from English National Ballet took their bows, it was Ballymore’s turn to be congratulated for creating a new quarter of the capital already buzzing with creative energy.
London City Island, described as a “vibrant arts and cultural destination” by the Director of the London Film School, Jane Roscoe, was declared open last night at a glittering party for 500 guests.
The London Film School, which counts directors Michael Mann and Mike Leigh among its alumni, will be moving to East London from Covent Garden. Describing the Film School as the “most prestigious in the world”, Roscoe said the move will bring “the next generation of story tellers” to the island who will “lead the charge” in making the area into a “cultural hub”.
Roscoe was followed by the artistic director of the English National Ballet, Tamara Rojo. Both the ballet company and the School, will be moving to London City Island in 2018.
She said: “We’re incredibly proud to be part of London City Island’s neighbourhood” and said the move will be “transformative’ for the company, whose current base in a 19th-century mews building in Kensington has just two rehearsal studios.
“We will be firing up a lot of creative energy – enough to warm the island on a cold winter evening”, she told guests.
The evening began with a performance by soprano Laura Wright and was followed by speeches from both John Mulryan, Ballymore’s managing director and Eco World’s Dato’ Teow Leong Seng. It ended with a dazzling pas de deux from the Nutcracker and an excerpt from Giselle by dancers from English National Ballet.
The other star of the evening was the Island Grocer by Ballymore, a new grocery and restaurant for residents. Guests were given a taste of some of the Grocer’s produce, including oven-fired pizzas and Sicilian pastry desserts, whose New York loft style interior is intended to set the benchmark for the island’s other new retail and leisure spaces.
The Grocer is the vision of Sean Mulryan, Chairman and Chief Executive of Ballymore, who plans for the initiative to be recreated across Ballymore’s other developments.
He said: “The first residents have already moved into phase I and are starting to enjoy the benefits of island life, including The Island Grocer which opened last week and is already creating a real sense of community. We look forward to announcing more retail and leisure partners in the near future.”
Other amenities now open on the island include a gym, an outdoor swimming pool and the newly launched Ballymore art gallery that promotes and sells work by artists from East London.
The Design Museum reopens later this month in the former Commonwealth Institute building in Kensington High Street, west London. John Pawson’s conversion of the iconic 1960s building gives the museum three times more space than it had in its former home in Southwark. Chief curator Justin McGuirk picks five surprising and eclectic objects from the permanent display.
Bialetti Moka Coffee Pot
The Bialetti Moka Coffee Pot is one of the designs in our new Crowdsourced Wall display. We invited the public to nominate designs that they feel belong in a museum. The Bialetti, designed in 1933, was the most-selected object. It’s one that so many people use on a day-to-day basis. The display opens the museum’s walls and makes us more aware that everything around us has been designed, and that we all have a relationship with designed objects. It doesn’t require specialist knowledge to recognise that something is doing its job beautifully well.
The Vespa Clubman was designed by Corrandino D’Ascanio for Vespa in 1946. It speaks to an interesting moment in history, which was Italy immediately after the war. At the time, Piaggio was a designer of military aircraft and had to come up with a new output for its production lines. After Italy, Britain became the biggest market for Vespas. It was a whole subculture here with the Mods. The idea of the stylish, metropolitan, modern young man, as embodied in the Mod, is an interesting British phenomenon. Vespa is not just a piece of design history, but a piece of British cultural history as well.
It’s a provocative thing to display, because on one level it’s a supremely good piece of design. Of course we don’t like to think of good design as being something that kills people. The AK-47 was first produced in 1947 and is substantively the same design today. It’s the most popular semi-automatic rifle in terms of numbers in the world. It really makes you question what good design is, what it’s for. The designer was Russian Lieutenant-General Mikhail Kalashnikov, who had experience of rifles constantly jamming on Russian soldiers, and wanted a system that was less dangerous to use.
Architecture and design critic Reyner Banham was a big champion of the Moulton in the late 1970s. It’s a bike that can be disassembled into two halves. For him, the Moulton was interesting because it defied the idea that the bicycle had reached its ideal, platonic form. The arrival of this bike with miniature wheels, aimed at a middle class cosmopolitan in a suit, was interesting to him because it reminded him that design was constantly changing and evolving. It was a humble everyday object that took a surprising form that no one had expected.
The Grid Compass was the first laptop computer. It was made by Grid Systems and designed in 1979 by British designer Bill Moggridge. It augured a new era of portable personal computing, which is very much what we’re in now, with people carrying super-computers in their pockets. Moggridge went on to be instrumental in thinking about design not as the making of a thing, but as the way we interact with an object, or with an interface. User interfaces is a whole new world of design that opened up because of computers.
The Design Museum will re-open on November 24th 2016.
Tamsie Thomson is the director of the London Festival of Architecture and has just announced the plans for next year’s festival which will be exploring the theme of ‘memory.’
Why a festival of architecture?
There isn’t any other festival in England that focuses on architecture.
What we’re about is the key issues that help make, shape, develop and evolve cities so it’s crucially important to me that practitioners and the wider general public have an opportunity to talk about it, learn about it, debate it and understand it better.
Why have you chosen memory as this year’s theme?
We want to explore how memory has shaped the construction of London and how it will go on doing that, influencing developers in their placemaking and architects in their design. There’s so many rich things to look at, from the stories of London and its hidden aspects, the way it’s evolved and the questions of what that legacy now means and how we develop it.
What’s planned for 2017?
One of the things the Festival has done extremely well previously is to commission live projects such as the closing of Exhibition Road in Kensington in 2008, and also the solar/water powered lift installed on the Duke of York steps in the Mall. Because it’s a festival and temporary, people will allow you to do things that otherwise would be too scary or contentious. That’s something I really want to bring back into the festival, and the first of these will be at the Dulwich Picture Gallery where we’ve just launched a competition to create a temporary events space.
You also hope to do some number crunching in 2017?
Hopefully we will be collaborating with the GLA’s Economics Unit to pull together all the figures on the value of architecture. No one seems to know how much architecture actually brings in to the economy. We know we are a world leader, so for no one to have brought all that information together is a massive oversight. The next step, is to put a quantifiable value on good design. If you design something well, what does that mean in terms of wellbeing, educational attainment among children and so on? That’s a big piece of work, which for us will be stage two.
What’s your favourite building in London?
That’s a tricky one. I’ve got lots. The National Theatre is a classic. Westminster underground station, because it transforms the experience of being in a tube station and Walter Segal ’s self-build project in south east London reflects my interest in housing. I also came across Asylum or Caroline Gardens Chapel during Open London House, where there is a chapel preserved in a beautiful moment of decay. I liked it so much I got married in it two months later and we’ve used it for other family events since then.
How do you relax?
I work full time and have two kids, so there’s not much of that. But we take advantage of living in Peckham and go and see culturally interesting things that are happening in the area.
What keeps you awake at night?
Not much - for the same reasons!
House & Garden, the country’s leading interiors magazine, has featured Ballymore’s Wardian London development in its latest issue.
A double page-page spread under the headline Urban Retreat describes Wardian London as a “groundbreaking concept in residential property development” and “an important development in London’s future” because of the way it “combines inspiration from the past with the needs of modern living”.
Referring to the innovative planting scheme by landscape architect Huw Morgan, the magazine says Wardian London is a “tranquil oasis of exotic foliage and high-end living…. where shape, function and form are expertly balanced”.
The magazine’s cover features Ballymore’s Wardian Case that inspired the apartments’ individual ‘sky gardens’.
Designed by Amos and Amos, the wardian case features a collection of botanical ‘found objects’, exotic plants and new and reclaimed furniture.
Jaki Amos said, “The Wardian Case presented an exciting challenge. A true departure from the norm, it offered an opportunity to create an immersive space which takes the visitor on an experiential journey of discovery, reflecting the individuality and uniqueness of the Wardian development.”
Ballymore’s head of communications, Hayleigh O’ Farrell said:
“We’re thrilled to be working with House & Garden. Our ambitions for Wardian London are perfectly aligned with the values of the UK’s leading interiors magazine and we’re looking forward to welcoming some of its readers to see the development for themselves”.
Wardian London consists of two botanically inspired towers comprising 624-apartment suites, restaurants, shops, a rooftop sky lounge and a 25-metre open air swimming pool. The development, designed by architect Glenn Howells, will complete in 2019.
Ballymore’s partnership with House & Garden includes two exclusive events, the first is a botanical drinks reception at Wardian London and the second is a Wealth management seminar.
As recently as 15 years ago, Dublin Docklands was still a sprawling, run-down post-industrial heartland. But today, it‘s a vibrant addition to one of Europe’s most exciting and and friendly cities epitomised by Ballymore’s latest mixed-use development, Dublin Landings, says Conor Ferguson.
Give me some history
The Dublin Docklands region straddles the River Liffey, a grand watery thoroughfare celebrated by James Joyce and Radiohead, among others. It consists of a spread of different quarters, north and south - each with its own flavour.
Back in the 19th and 20th centuries, the docklands handled the contents of countless ships sailing in and out of Dublin Port, which - in its day - was home to the largest docks in the world. There were shipyards where vessels were built and repaired. There were flour mills and fertiliser companies, coal heaps and cattle pens. Five glassworks operated in the Ringsend area alone, one manufacturing bottles to hold Guinness stout, which was growing ever more popular.
What’s that about Guinness?
Well, the home of the hallowed black stuff is about a mile up-river at St. James’s Gate – near where the original Dublin settlement was built by Vikings in 1088. Back down along the quays, the Guinness family moored ships for decades, to deliver barrels of stout to Great Britain and beyond. Indeed, one of these vessels, the M.V. Miranda Guinness was converted into the world’s first beer tanker, with a capacity of 205,000 gallons - or 1.87 million pints!
Getting back to Dublin Docklands
Yes, quite. Dublin Docklands went into decline with the arrival of containerisation. The area remained a dank and pungent blot on Dublin’s city landscape for generations, until the Dublin Docklands Authority initiated a massive regeneration programme, beginning in 1998.
Since then, the area has metamorphosed into a European hub for innovation and social connection. The skyline has been transformed too. Where once cranes, heavy machinery and endless warehouses stood, now stand cutting edge offices and apartments reflecting upon each other, windows onto the thousands of people who now work and live in this hip, new community.
Google set up their European Headquarters here in 2012, kicking off what has come to be known as Silicon Docks. Many global tech giants have followed, establishing major bases north and south of the river. These include Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo, LinkedIn, Airbnb, the list goes on.
What’s going for it ?
Aside from being just a quick hop away from Dublin’s city centre, Dublin Docklands offers many attractions and distractions. On the north side there’s shopping at CHQ, the charming Harbour Master bar, and Point Village with more shopping, dining and cinemas, not to mention the 3 Arena – host to some of the world’s biggest music acts.
A stroll south across the river brings you to the Grand Canal Dock, lined with cafes and restaurants. Follow the “red sticks” to the Bord Gais Energy Theatre – designed by Daniel Liebeskind - with a great line-up of musical and theatrical goings-on.
The Square features a striking red “carpet” made of bright red resin-glass paving covered with red glowing, angled light-sticks. Follow the carpet from the theatre to the edge of the canal basin, where you can spot wake-boarders and the famous Viking Splash amphibious tour bus in action.
A little further on is the Aviva Stadium a wobbly, shimmering emitting roars of anguish and joy on many major international sporting occasions.
Back on the north side, not to be outdone, stands the beloved Croke Park GAA Stadium where Gaelic football and hurling are played. Globe-busting acts like Bruce Springsteen and Beyoncé have played here too!
Dublin Docklands is a hub for the city’s many transport links. The DART suburban rail line, which runs from one end of Dublin Bay to the other, stops at Barrow St (near Grand Canal Dock) on the south side and Connolly Station on the north side, which connects with the Irish Rail intercity service.
The north docklands are served by the LUAS tram system. Currently, the Red Line runs from the Point Village/3 Arena right up as far as Tallaght in the Wicklow Mountains. But work is underway to create an expansive LUAS network to serve the wider city and suburbs
The city is well-served for cyclists too with the Dublin Bikes free bike scheme, which ensures you’re never far from where you’re going. Unless you’re going much further afield, in which case, Dublin Airport less than 25 minutes away coach.
Located between Dublin’s international airport and historic centre, Dublin Landings will be a 1,000,000 sq ft development comprising of 5 office buildings, a boutique hotel, green streets & squares, 273 apartments, an 11,000sq ft gym and the central bank of Ireland. For more details visit our Dublin Landings website.
Conor Ferguson is a Dublin- based writer and photographer.
Lisa Fogarty is head of sales and marketing for Ballymore Ireland and is working on Dublin Landings, a new quarter she believes sums up the spirit of the city she loves.
How did you come to work for Ballymore?
I was working as a new homes agent and Ballymore were my client. They always stood out in terms of design and quality and their attention to detail in the product they produced. When the opportunity arose to join their team I was delighted to be part of the company, working in an environment where they do things differently.
How would you describe yourself?
I’m a very energetic person who loves work. It’s such a big part of your life and the only way you can love work is to love what you do.
What’s the best thing about living and working in Dublin?
The dynamic of the city is incredible. Practically all of the biggest tech and pharma companies in the world who have their European HQs in Ireland are here for a reason beyond the low tax rate, and that’s because we have a highly educated work force who help them deliver world class results. It also has a really great vibe, with a lot of art and culture. If you live in the city you are only 20 minutes away from the most incredible scenery, with the coastline and the mountains, it really is unparalleled. It’s also very much an outdoor lifestyle, which I love.
How is Dublin changing?
The economy has picked up again and Irish people are starting to come home and plenty of other people are moving here for work. I think Dublin Landings represents everything that is great in the city, including the growth, and also that warm welcome. The name itself comes from the maritime history and is a word for arrival, and that shapes the city as to how we know it. I believe people who make Dublin Landings their home will feel that absolute sense of arrival.
What keeps you awake at night?
It’s a very busy job and you need to be organised. I do wake up making mental lists so I keep a notebook by the bed!
How do you relax?
I like going to the local gym with a friend and I live very close to the beach so I go running there and walking with my two children. Spending time with them grounds me.
What’s the most important lesson you’ve learnt in life?
Listen to your instincts and always remember you are responsible for yourself and your life. My mum always taught me to be the leader and never be led by others and I carry that with me always.
What about the future?
It will be something like this, with projects like Dublin Landings. To be part of this transformation of the Dublin skyline and the way people will live and work here is fantastic.
Tim Allen is a stop-motion animator, who has worked on films such as Tim Burton’s Frankenweenie and Corpse Bride, Fantastic Mr Fox, and the Oscar winning Peter & the Wolf. Later this year, he will be moving to a new apartment at London’s City Island, where his love affair with the East End of London looks set to continue.
Why London City Island?
I was familiar with the area having discovered Trinity Buoy Wharf and the Bow Creek Cafe, which is going to be one of my favourite locals. It’s definitely one of the Docklands’ gems. I had seen the City Island developments starting construction. It’s a stunning area, with the whole development surrounded by water, which makes it really peaceful. Also, I’ve worked at 3 Mills Studios many times, and was invited back to work on a movie. Both City Island and 3 Mills are on the River Lea, so it will simply be a 30-minute ‘commute’ walking along the river to work, which also sounded beautiful.
You’re one of the early pioneers - how does that feel?
What’s exciting is that you get to be part of a community as it’s forming. I love the fact that the island has a creative slant to it. The National Film School is also coming here and the English National Ballet. My lifestyle and work is utterly creative, and I’ll be moving into a creative community that’s in the process of forming- that feels right.
Where have you lived before?
I’ve lived in East London for over 12 years and with the Olympics, we’ve seen so much development and there are lots of interesting quirky places, with bags of character.
Sometimes work has taken me to different countries, such as Poland, Norway and Brazil but much as I love the opportunity to travel, I feel that East London is my home, specifically the Docklands.
What’s the view from your balcony?
It’s still under construction, so I’m only guessing, but I should be able to see the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and possibly the Orbit, plus the ExCel Centre, City Airport and the Royal Victoria Docks.
What are your hopes for London City Island in the future?
I’d like to see an interesting development with all the retail elements on the ground floor. One hope is that there is a hub of interesting places to go to on City Island itself. Trinity Buoy Wharf looks to be continuing to develop and there’s a possibility of there being a pier there, which will be great. I’m also looking forward to seeing the River Lea develop, with all the work being done to make access easier and open it up, with park spaces and coffee shops so you can walk the whole river.
The final phase of London City Island will be launched this week with 217 units going on sale.
Fashionable, charming, characterful: these are just a few of the adjectives applied to a home we today regard as a quintessential part of London - the mews.
Its distinctive design inspires modern architecture of the highest order but the origins of the mews is distinctly modest and more than a touch eccentric.
The term arose from the ‘mewing’ - or ‘caging’ - of hawks during their annual feather moulting season during the late 15th century reign of Henry VII. This happened in a building at Charing Cross and the ‘mews’ name stuck when, during the following centuries, the property was used for horses working with the Royal Household.
When aristocrats moved into central London in the 18th and 19th centuries they created great estates in Kensington, Knightsbridge, Belgravia and Westminster. The families lived in five storey mansions adorned by chandeliers and hand-carving - staff, meanwhile, tended the horses and carriages in two storey warehouses on nearby cobbled lanes.
And so the London mews was born.
The title became more familiar as more were built and the lanes christened to give the term official status: Rutland Garden Mews, Norman Mews and Wavel Mews were just a few of the earliest lanes whose titles - and mews - remain to this day.
Its transition from 18th century animal quarters to being amongst the capital’s most sought-after and expensive properties today is down to a cocktail of celebrity and notoriety.
The first planning consent for formal conversion from a stable to a home came in 1908 but the mew’s reputation as a celebrity pad began in the 1960s when Michael Caine - then a newly-minted movie star - was one of the first famous names to live in one.
He was followed by musician Jacqueline du Pré, comedian Peter Cook, writer Agatha Christie and Formula One maverick James Hunt; more recently, Madonna and Noel Gallagher have been residents.
But there’s a 21st century twist to how mews have been renovated and extended in recent years. For unlike those grand mansions they used to serve, many mews buildings have not been listed and so allow architects breathing space for contemporary creativity.
Stable areas have naturally become state of the art garages for supercars - we’re talking climate control and customised inspection pits. In hitherto-cramped living areas, mezzanines have been installed to provide additional storeys while roofs have be transformed into spectacular entertainment terraces.
The installation of industrial beams has made some into street-level loft-style apartments, while glass walls and imported marble have turned others into homes every bit as modern as the newest apartment.
In turn, some architects have adopted and adapted the classic mews style for their 21st century projects elsewhere in London.
For example, SAM architects used a mews layout for a small one-off house in Denmark Hill, with a ‘stable’ kitchen fronted by a folding facade providing privacy or light, depending on the user’s mood. And in Bloomsbury, a new house on an infill plot - designed by Jamie Fobert Architects - is a bold series of levels around a dramatic lightwell, to provide a starkly contrasting final property to complete a series of historic mews.
With such radical reinterpretations, the essence and integrity of the mews remains as strong as ever. Its appeal to modernists and traditionalists alike - and its inspiration for Ballymore’s new houses at the heart of Nine Elms on the South Bank - suggest it has enduring values of distinctiveness and quality, open to renewal and transformation.
Such a description could perhaps equally apply to London - and for an ever-changing city proud of its past and its future, what better property to be identified with than the mews?
Ballymore is offering buyers who purchase a Mews House at Embassy Gardens a generous contribution towards contemporary art work for their new home. In a partnership with Frieze, the money will be spent when the houses are completed in 2019.
Graham Norwood is a freelance property writer contributing to the Financial Times, Sunday Times, Daily Telegraph and a range of lifestyle and property industry publications.
Photography credit: Ron Ellis/Shutterstock.com
Richard Corrigan, the Michelin star chef and owner of Corrigan Restaurants is credited with pioneering the rehabilitation of British and Irish food. As much of Chef Corrigan’s inspiration comes from a childhood spent on the family’s 25-acre farm in County Meath, Ireland, it’s perhaps no surprise that he’s promising to bring “a little bit of Irish humour” to London’s Longest Lunch hosted by Ballymore.
When did you realise you wanted to be a chef?
I was about 12. It was the first time I cooked for my Mum and sister. I put something together from the garden and put it on the plate. From that Saturday I felt that was the start of my journey in life as a chef.
Who inspired you to cook?
My mum was a very simple, but very a good cook and we always ate freshly prepared food every day. I came from a smallholding background, with gardens and orchards, so it was a matter of progression into the restaurant business.
What is your favourite dish?
There are always some winter dishes that stay with you. So it’s probably a really nice stew, with beef, sweet potatoes and black pepper, and of course a few dumplings.
What’s special about Irish food?
It’s to do with the simplicity of the countryside, the people and community. The whole point about eating is sharing, and sharing food and sharing conversation really defines the human spirit.
It’s quite a southern European philosophy, really, and certainly we witnessed a lot of that in our childhood.
Where did you train?
I was apprenticed off to a small hotel nearby and then I went off to live in Amsterdam when I was 17 and stayed there before coming to London about 28 years ago. The Netherlands is an important part of my life. One thing about the Dutch is they are incredibly organised, they are meticulous on timing, which the Irish are famously not. So it straightened out a few natural weaknesses in me, let’s say.
Do you have a signature dish?
We have a strong ethos, and I don’t really want to pare it down to one dish. There are so many for different times of the year. But the fig tart with tobacco syrup really stood out and I don’t think anything nearly as shocking has come out of my head since.
Do you have any guilty pleasures?
Working in hospitality you can get very tired, especially in the November weeks and December, when the hours are horrendous. I will often stop my moped and get a bottle of Lucozade and a Kit Kat just to put sugar into me.
What stresses you most?
It’s the little imperfections I don’t care for. We’re all paid handsomely to do a great job, so my opinion is we should do a great job.
What do you do to relax?
I love going home to my wife Maria and sharing a wonderful salad from the garden and an organic chicken. Then I love chilling out with a book, a bit of music in the background and a nice big mug of tea. When I’m over in Ireland, which is most weekends, I like a nice walk in the woods.
What can we expect from the Longest Lunch?
There’s a wonderful combination of restaurants and we’ve done a really nice menu, and I think you’ll have lots of good flavours, lots of wild fish, with a little bit of Irish humour thrown in as well.
Finally, any advice for a budding chef?
Go and work for someone who is incredibly passionate about food, incredibly disciplined. What you pick up from real passionate professionals is worth all the colleges in the world. It’s the magic that sets apart the jobber from the artisan.
Ballymore is hosting London’s Longest Lunch on October 1st. Diners will travel between Embassy Gardens in Nine Elms and Wardian near Canary Wharf while experiencing a six-course feast cooked by chefs, Richard Corrigan and Tomos Parry. The lunch is a partnership with the London Restaurant Festival.
To see our live pictures of the London’s Longest Lunch please visit us on Instragram @Ballymore Group.
Almost a quarter of a century after the first offices were built in the once derelict former Docklands, Canary Wharf is becoming a thriving new residential area of east London with lots to see and do.
What’s all the fuss about?
If you’re around this weekend, Canary Wharf is hosting a new weekend event in the London music calendar featuring major artists and new talent from Nashville, the home of country music. Expect plaid shirts, big hair and rhinestone suits.
I’m confused. I thought Canary Wharf was our Manhattan- all bankers and sushi bars.
It’s changing. While banking and commerce remain at its heart, 30 years on from the day Mrs. Thatcher donned a hardhat for that famous London Docklands Development Corporation photo-shoot, Canary Wharf is now seeing a renaissance of community, arts and culture as the area matures.
So what is there to do?
I recommend starting at the excellently curated Museum of London Docklands, (whose corporate sponsors include Ballymore). It offers a fascinating history of the London docks in old warehouse buildings in West India Quay, when the docks were built to house cargoes from the Canary Islands, thus giving the area its name. It’s the only building to have survived the furious fire in 1901 and the Blitz of September 1940.
So nothing else survived?
Not a lot, to be honest. Gradually upriver containerisation at Tilbury meant that London Docklands couldn’t keep up with its competitors and by the early 1970s most of the docks had closed - West India Dock closed in 1980 the same year that the London Docklands Development Corporation (LDDC) was created, headed up by Michael Heseltine. Two years later, the Isle of Dogs was designated an Enterprise Zone, offering tax breaks to both investors and developers. The then Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher was famously pictured there that year in a hardhat on a bulldozer parked on barren industrial wasteland.
So most of what you see today was built post 1980s?
Yes, but for architecture buffs it’s a way of charting the last 30 years or so of architecture including Foster & Partners Canary Wharf station to Crossrail Place, - Canary Wharf’s newest leisure development – also designed by Foster and Partners which recently won the ‘Transport and Infrastructure’ Award at the New London Awards 2016. And of course there’s the famous tower, One Canada Square designed by American architect Cesar Pelli that until the Shard was completed in 2012, was the tallest building in London.
So people didn’t live in Canary Wharf when it was first developed?
That’s right. It was built as a business district but then developers including Ballymore spotted its potential as a great place to live. Among the new kids on the block is Ballymore’s Wardian London on Marsh Wall, with 764 new homes across two glass towers of 50 and 55 floors. As well as ground level retail including café, the amenities boast a Sky Garden with a gym, an open-air swimming pool, cinema and a resident lounge.
It will join Baltimore Wharf for which Ballymore developed the first phase, Pan Peninsula and New Providence Wharf that includes both Providence Tower and Ontario Tower.
What’s it like as a place to live?
The trend of people living in Canary Wharf having to leave at weekends for a “real area” to enjoy retail, culture and community is fast being reversed. The figures tell the story: apart from the 111,000 people who work there, 800,000 people a week now use Canary Wharf’s 300 shops, bars and eateries, its five retail malls, gyms and concert venues.
But isn’t all aimed at the super-rich. What about ordinary people?
This summer alone, five free concerts have been staged in Canada Square Park, with performances by the London Philharmonic Orchestra, The Overtones, Opera Al Fresco, Big Easy Blues and the Great American Songbook. There are outdoor theatre performances of Macbeth, The Scarlet Pimpernel and Wuthering Heights, not to mention regular Pop-up Vintage Fairs in Cabot Square. And don’t forget to visit Ballymore’s giant, glass Wardian case full of rare and exotic plants and then book a free trip up the on the Wardian boat moored close by.
What about the future?
The success story seems set to run. Deutsche Bank is due to arrive soon with 4,000 staff, and when the Elizabeth Line (Crossrail in old speak) opens in 2018, Canary Wharf to Bond Street will take 13 minutes. But at this rate, it looks like it’s going to be predominantly eastbound traffic.
If you like art, Canary Wharf now has one of the country’s largest collections of Public Art with works by Bob Allen, Ron Arad, Jay Battle, Alexander Beleschenko, Jeff Bell and Emma Biggs to name a few.
Aaron Caffrey trained in civil engineering at the Dublin Institute of Technology and has been working for Ballymore since 2002. As construction project manager he is responsible for managing and reviewing the designs and technical information before a building goes up. He has cast a critical eye over plans for numerous Ballymore developments in Dublin and London, including Embassy Gardens and Wardian.
How did you come to work for Ballymore?
I grew up in County Kildare and we knew the Mulryan family, so I was familiar with the company. I was working on a small housing project for a friend of my father that Ballymore was building and the contracts manager offered me a job. I didn’t take it immediately, but when I came back after travelling in Australia I called him. It was a busy time for the construction industry, so I started as an assistant site manager.
What is the most important thing you’ve learnt?
It’s the experience and ability to juggle things. It’s something that you build stamina for, you build ability for and it takes years. If I had done the Wardian project 10 years ago, I would have just been too green. Now I am able to operate at the appropriate level for the complexity of that project.
What do you like most about your job?
I love engineering and I love building. It’s such a tangible thing and I can see the work that I do actually translate into something real outside.
What project are you most proud of?
Probably Embassy Gardens Phase One which I saw through from start to finish; I pretty much touched all the detail about that project and was so deeply involved in all aspects of it.
What stresses you?
I guess it’s the demands of the business. You work under a lot of pressure, and can be pulled from lots of sides. And if I make mistakes it costs money. You have to pay the price when you get it wrong and it’s so painful because you have literally, physically put something up there that’s wrong.
How do you cope?
I have to have process and structure because with all that I’m juggling it’s just too tortuous.
How do you relax?
I’m a climber. I love mountain climbing. It’s all about hardship and suffering, so I’m a kind of demon for self-torture.
What about the future?
All my ambitions are at detail level. There are things I think could be done better, in a detailed way, and in the way we do things across all the projects.
A pioneering spirit of London walks has praised Ballymore for designing riverside developments that allow access to the Thames – as at New Providence Wharf in Poplar.
Co-founder of Footprints of London Rob Smith, who is running a series of guided walks as part of this month’s Totally Thames Festival said:
“Developers like Ballymore have done a pretty good job over the last few years because a lot of these sites were old industrial areas without any access to the river at all. At New Providence Wharf, for example, you can now walk along the river all the way from the old East India Dock right down to the tip of the Isle of Dogs.”
With 260 flats bordering on a riverside park, plus shops, a health spa and gym, New Providence Wharf has a depth and a substance few other Thames-side developments achieve. Stretching back 400m from the riverside on a 33,000 sq m site, it incorporates the 31-storey Ontario Tower, the Radisson Edwardian Hotel and the Providence Tower.
One of the most popular walks that Rob takes is Maritime Blackwall – Spice Traders and Ship Builders - an-hour long route starting at East India DLR station and heading off along the river towards New Providence Wharf.
“It’s where ships like the Cutty Sark brought valuable goods like tea, silk, Persian rugs and indigo from India and China – and you can still see the wall around the dock built to prevent pilfering”, said Rob.
“We start around the old walled area of the dock where a lot of streets still bear the exotic Chinese names, then onto the East India Dock basin, now a beautifully preserved nature reserve, part of Lea Valley Park.
The walk takes in Trinity Buoy Wharf where Trinity House repaired navigation buoys, and is now an arts centre. Walkers also visit the lighthouse where Michael Faraday once worked, and then onto Blackwall Yard, once the home of naval shipbuilding on the Thames
“It is depicted in a fantastic painting in the National Maritime museum”, explains Rob. “The whole area was one of the great attractions for Londoners in 1630s. People would take a boat trip up the river to see the great old dry dock and the huge tower which was erected to position the ships’ masts and stood out for miles in those days”.
The Virginia Colonists memorial is also sited here, marking the point where the first British settlers to America set sail in 1607. Some of the local streets – Jamestown and Newport - still bear their stateside names.
The route continues to Coldharbour and The Gun, now a gastro pub, and close to the house where Lord Nelson stayed in when the fleet was moored in the Thames.
Nearby is Robin Hood Gardens, the Le Corbusier-inspired council estate designed with “streets in the sky” by British architects Alison and Peter Smithson in the early 70s but now awaits demolition. Said Rob: “It’s an acquired taste, and not really my cup of tea. But it is very popular with architecture buffs and this walk sells out every week.”
Now thanks to the riverside park at New Providence Wharf, “you can carry on along a path all round the Isle of Dogs until you get to fantastic views of the Royal Naval College across the river at Greenwich, probably the best way to see London. And on the full bend, a great view of Sir Christopher Wren’s cemetery,” said Rob.
“It’s a very nice section of the river there overlooking the O2 tower”, said Rob, who set up Footprints of London ten years ago when he swapped smoky Friday nights down the pub for walking.
Click here to buy tickets for the walk towards New Providence Wharf
Also, visit here for more information about the Totally Thames Festival.
Glenn Howells set up his architectural practice in London in 1990, then moved the main studio to Birmingham in 1992. With 120 people based in Birmingham and London, GHA is working with Ballymore on large scale masterplans for the regeneration of East London’s former Docklands.
When did you start working with Ballymore?
We were invited to look at the Royal Wharf site just next to Barrier Park, then we found out Ballymore had other land holdings and decided to explore it - we got the master plan going for the whole of Royal Wharf and have been working with them on that for the last six or seven years. That led on to London City Island and then Wardian.
What’s distinctive about your practice and the way you work?
Our strap line is we want landmark places, not landmark buildings. The diverse quarters of New York, Vienna or Berlin are often much more interesting than big landmarks, which can be a bit dull. That’s one of the things we’re alive to, what makes really interesting, successful places?
We’ve got a huge studio in Birmingham, with machines and a timber workshop, and we own the building. We wouldn’t have the flexibility to have a playground to do all the model making and experimentation in central London.
Which architects have influenced you?
Architects with a story or narrative who have spent a lot of time refining their thinking and are beyond style. Mies van der Rohe at one point did completely organic buildings, very different shaped buildings, so none of them are constrained by shape or form.
What keeps your thinking fresh?
Getting out of cities on a regular basis is a great way to recharge. The things which occur in nature and are not manmade are some of the most astonishing.
Tell me about your team?
We encourage people not to just read architecture magazines. People who can contribute most to projects have got an understanding of money, science, politics, as well as an aesthetic sensitivity. We encourage a wider view of the world.
What other advice do you give your staff?
Don’t just talk to architects, or even structural engineers. Be interested in the people who are making stone cladding, or making the steel frames or building parts. The best buildings in the world throughout history have been borne out of an understanding of what it is made of.
Can you tell me more about how you work as a studio?
One of the most important things we have developed is the design review. There’s no hierarchy about who is allowed to say what, anybody can chip in an idea. It’s an opportunity for young designers to present sketches, ideas and models and actually challenge the older ones. It’s really interesting when they ask why not do it another way?
Does GHA have a signature style?
I hope not. We’re always testing ourselves, and trying to avoid a default position.
Ballymore’s winning streak continued in London on Friday night (October 27th) when its website won Best Developer Website at the UK Property Awards.
This is Ballymore’s third award this year. In June it won Property Developer of the Year at the inaugural Evening Standard Business Awards and Large Developer of the Year at the Resi Awards in May.
The website (ballymoregroup.com) was redesigned as part of the company’s new brand launched in April. Editorially focused and packed with stories and interviews, the website is a key part of Ballymore’s outward facing communications strategy that includes social media and events.
Hayleigh O’Farrell, Head of Communications at Ballymore commented: “In the last year Ballymore have invested in the very heart of our business – our brand identity and all it represents.
The website is a reflection of our brand and the way our business operates. We are thrilled that our hard work is being recognised”.
The UK Property Awards, in association with The Daily Telegraph, recognise excellence in the property industry worldwide. The awards are run by the International Property Magazine and will be covered in the publication, generating exposure to a readership of 120,000 through a distribution across major airlines flights and lounges including British Airways, Emirates and Virgin Atlantic.
Ballymore’s Sean Mulryan swept the boards at this year’s KMPG Irish Independent Property Excellence winning two of the eleven categories.
Ballymore’s founder and chairman won the Property Entrepreneur of the Year Award that recognises outstanding business achievement by an Irish individual or company and went on to win the much-coveted Overall Award.
The awards, held in Dublin’s National Convention Centre, recognise the highest standards of professionalism and excellence across the property sector and provide an opportunity for the Irish property industry to showcase its expertise and standards.
This is Ballymore’s fourth award win this year. Last month its website won Best Developer Website at the UK Property Awards. In June it won Property Developer of the Year at the inaugural Evening Standard Business Awards and Large Developer of the Year at the Resi Awards in May.
The winner in each category will go forward as the Irish nomination for the international Property Awards, to be held in London next year.
How did you come to work for Ballymore?
After I graduated I just got on a train and came to London. I was carrying everything, including my duvet. I didn’t have a job, or an apartment. Looking back, it was quite an experience. But we were very lucky. We found an apartment and my university professor told me about the internship, which went really well, and I was offered a job.
How would you describe yourself?
I’m a positive, bubbly person and very supportive. I’m proactive and a problem solver. I’ve been told that I never drop the ball.
What does a sales and marketing analyst do?
If we’ve spent money on a marketing campaign, we need to know what the return on it is, how many leads and how many sales were generated, so I monitor that.
I produce market research showing the key trends and keep my eye on what our competitors are doing. I also manage all aspects of the Salesforce CRM database.
What do you enjoy the most about your job?
I like the fast pace, the fact that there’s a lot of variety. It can be stressful when there’s a lot going on, but you feel so good when you manage to pull it together. Most of all I enjoy being part of the team. We communicate well and are very supportive of each other. I organised a trip to see a play last year and we went to China Town afterwards. In July we are going again to see Matilda.
What do you do to relax?
I go swimming. I learnt to swim last year, which was an accomplishment because I was afraid of water. A colleague really helped me, not the teacher, because she came with me three times and it worked - I needed someone there who I really trusted.
How does living in the UK compare to China?
I really like the lifestyle here, there’s always something to do and people don’t judge you. I also feel more mature here, because I can be myself and make my own decisions.
I miss the food in China, especially my hometown food, which is famous for being spicy. No matter how spicy it is here, it’s different.
What are you most proud of?
The research I did during my internship on understanding the Chinese buyer, and questionnaires I’ve developed to help us build up a picture of previous buyers. Also, there’s probably not anyone more knowledgeable about the Salesforce CRM system, which I have been involved with since the beginning.
What about the future?
I would like to go into a management role, to take more responsibility and be more involved in decision-making.
Michael Sodeau is director of Michael Sodeau Studio. He studied product design at Central Saint Martins in the 1990s when he set up inflatable products company, Inflate. His studio now designs furniture, home products, lighting, and rugs, and interiors and exhibitions, and has fitted out bars and restaurants including Camden’s Round House and the East London Liquor Company. Sodeau is art directing designjunction, part of London Design Festival. Here, he talks to Liz Bury about his favourite design objects
Corrandino D’Asciano and Enrico Piaggio
It’s something I use every day. For a city like London it’s amazing because it shrinks the place and it’s the romance of it. It’s not the most practical design by any means, but it has a simplistic charm about it. It just works, I manage to pack all the shopping in the front of it, I take my kids to school on it, take my wife to work on it and I go to meetings on it. It’s just brilliant.
Produced by Eyvind Kold Christensen and later Fritz Hansen
There’s something almost poetic about this chair- it’s just perfect.
It’s almost obvious in the way it’s designed. In Denmark at that time everyone was using timber, but Kjaerholm’s thing was metal, using it in a craft way- brushed stainless steel finishes and these simple bends. He was working with Fritz Hansen at the same time as Arne Jacobsen, but he was almost overlooked. Jacobsen took the limelight and the credit, but actually if you look at it, Kjaerholm’s work is much better and more timeless.
Vitsoe 606 Universal Shelving System Dieter Rams
We use Vitsoe in the office and I have it at home. It’s an absolute classic in every way, shape and form. It’s very simplistic, it works on a frame, and can be connected directly into a wall or it can free stand. In the studio we’ve got it clad between the floor and the ceiling, we have bits on the wall, and angled shelves that we use for displaying things. Once you have books and objects on it, it disappears into the background. It’s just a really lovely system.
Vitsoe used to be a German company but now it’s based in Camden and has a factory in the Midlands.
Viscontea Suspension Light
Castiglioni brothers, Achille Castiglioni and Pier Castiglioni
Produced by Flos
This design was lost by for a time and has just been reissued. It has quite a sculptural form. I have an original one from the 1980s that I bought from Twentytwentyone. They’ve slightly changed the material - mine’s got slight warmth to it - but the new ones are quite white. It has a very simple wire frame that’s sprayed with polymer plastic, and this fibrous material, when you turn the light on, gives a very warm light. This stuff was sprayed on the hulls of ships during WW2 to protect them. I can’t think of any other way you can make that lamp in any other material other than the one it’s produced in.
Apple Inc, Steve Jobs, Jonathan Ive
It’s an iconic object and will inevitably become a classic. I can’t see that that wouldn’t happen. It’s not groundbreaking in a way, and yet in another it is. I think back to when I was a kid and you’d wander around with two pence in your pocket to make a phone call. It’s hard to imagine not having a phone, not being in contact, not being able to work on your mobile. It’s a pleasure to use. I don’t put it down, much to my wife’s annoyance.
designjunction runs from September 22nd -25th
Facebook’s headquarters, designed by Daniel Libeskind with interiors by Frank Gehry, is among the tech offices opening its doors for the first time as part of Dublin Open House, an annual celebration of the city’s living architecture.
Facebook will be joined by Google’s Gordon House headquarters and Airbnb Warehouse at Hanover Quay, that together have earned the former docks its nickname - Silicon Docks, in recognition of the number of tech companies flooding to the area.
Over the last 11 years, Open House Dublin has become a bustling city-wide celebration of architecture enjoyed by an audience of 33,000 says Nathalie Weadick, director of the Irish Architecture Foundation.
The Foundation set up in 2004, launched Open House Dublin the following year, the third city to do so after London and Tel Aviv. It was quickly followed by New York and Barcelona, and the events now run in 32 cities worldwide.
“In the early days most visitors to Open House were built environment professionals and then in 2008 we turned a corner and began attracting the public”, says Weadick.
“That’s when we knew it was working, and we were targeting the right people—teachers, newsagents, taxi drivers—the people who can feel disassociated from how things happen in the built environment. Open House is very good for telling people about that, and empowering them to get more involved in a confident way in their city,” she says.
Weadick, who has just been made an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects, in recognition of “the enormous contribution she has made to architecture,” has been at the heart of developing Open House Dublin.
One of the big shifts she has noticed is the popularity of different types of architecture from Georgian Dublin into curiosity about more contemporary design “indicating that knowledge has been passed on” she says.There are 90 buildings open during the weekend, from the historic to the modern, offices to domestic homes, and a programme of 50 talks in the Open House Plus programme.
“There’s a great buzz around the city for that weekend,” she says.
Buildings are open on October 15 from 11am to 4pm, and on October 16, from 12pm or 2pm, until 4pm. All building tours and talks are free but some require pre-booking and tickets are allocated on a first-come first-serve basis.
Hot on the heels of winning Large Developer of the Year at the Resi Awards, Ballymore has been heralded as Property Developer of the Year at the inaugural Evening Standard Business Awards last night (Thursday, June 30) for projects which “add to the quality of life in the capital and make it a better place to live.”
The judges chose Ballymore over six national rivals in a year in which the property developer is heavily involved in some of the most ambitious urban regeneration schemes in London, most notably Embassy Gardens in Nine Elms, London City Island, Royal Wharf in the Royal Docks and Wardian in Canary Wharf.
The accolade comes hot on the heels of Ballymore winning the award for Large Developer of the Year at the prestigious Resi Awards 2016 just last month.
John Mulryan, Ballymore UK MD, commented: “This award is a real triumph for Ballymore and we are thrilled with the result. It’s a big year for Ballymore, following a complete rebrand of the company and with number of very exciting projects in development. Our schemes at London City Island and Royal Wharf will welcome their first residents later this year and Embassy Gardens is quickly becoming a true destination to live, work and play. This awards recognises our commitment to placemaking and we will continue to deliver places that people want to be”
At the ES Business Award, special praise was given to London City Island, a 12-acre residential development of 1,700 properties under construction on the Leamouth Peninsula in east London, where Ballymore has vowed to “bring the arts to a new audience” by creating a number of dedicated performance spaces, including one for English National Ballet.
John Mulryan added: “It is really important to us that our developments are not just residential and there is a lot on offer to those who live there and in the surrounding area. We would like City Island to become a cultural hub that can contribute to the London arts scene — especially now that we will host English National Ballet from 2018. That will help us really put the island on the cultural map.”
Ballymore beat rivals Taylor Wimpey, Almacantar, Land Securities, Berkeley Homes, Crown Estate and Lendlease to take the award at a high-profile awards dinner at Tobacco Dock.
John Mulryan was presented with the award on the winners’ podium where he was joined by easyjet boss Dame Carolyn McCall, who won Personality of the Year, Jo Malone, Entrepreneur of the Year, Lloyds Banking Group, for Financial Services Business of the Year and online takeaway group, Deliveroo, who won Tech Company of the Year.
Photo credit: Nigel Howard / London Evening Standard
As Frieze London prepares to open its door, we talk to some of London’s leading galleries on what to buy and how to go about it.
Frieze London, the annual art fair set in Regent’s Park, is not only a hotly anticipated cultural event bringing 160 of the world’s best galleries under one architecturally designed tent, it’s an ideal place to get a feel for the type of art you might want to buy.
Galleries bring a broad sweep of their artists to Frieze from the Lisson Gallery who will be showing new work by Ai Wewei and Susan Hillier who command six-figure sums, to emerging artists who are more affordable. But if you are fortunate enough to have some money to spend, how do you start?
First, give yourself enough time- at least half a day as a minimum. Even for aficionados, Frieze can be exhausting, even overwhelming, unless you’ve done some homework first by making a list of the galleries you’d like to visit.
The Frieze website lists all 160 galleries and from there you can go to dealers’ websites to get a broad idea of the type of artists they represent. You’ll also be able to find out if an artist has won a major prize and their work bought by a known public gallery or institution. Spending time on an artist’s CV will reveal a great deal and while galleries are unlikely to divulge the price of an artwork on a website, Frieze is a good place to do some sleuth work.
“One of the nice things about Frieze is we have lots of time to talk in person about our program and we really want people to ask us questions and not feel embarrassed about asking prices”, says Lieselotte Seaton, sales manager at Sadie Coles, who represent 48 artists including Sarah Lucas, Elizabeth Peyton and Richard Prince.
And while contemporary art has long been seen as an investment, this should not be the prime reason for making a purchase, advises Seaton.
“The world moves very fast. Buying art should be enjoyable rather than about making money and if you’re buying something for around £5000 and it doesn’t increase in value, it’s not a terrible risk,” she says.
She also makes the point that – aside from being able to hang artwork on your wall- the real enjoyment comes from supporting an artist at the start of their career and seeing it grow.
Katharina Worf of Laura Bartlett, based in London’s East End agrees. “We always spend a lot of time with a first time buyer because we want to build up a relationship. If the person is new to collecting we first want to understand what they like rather than steering them towards an investment” she says.
The gallery begins by finding out the interest of the buyer, for example photography, sculpture or conceptual pieces. “That is often where a conversation will start’, explains Worf. “But by the time they’ve seen a selection of different artists’ work, they often change their mind over the kind of artwork they want to buy”.
Laura Bartlett will bring a number of its artists to Frieze, many of whom are affordable for the first time buyer, including British artist Lydia Gifford whose pieces range from sculptural to wall-based pieces, the Latin American artist Sol Calero, American artist John Divola who works in photography – often a cheaper option than painting – and British artist Becky Beasley, who has won prizes and is part of major UK public collections.
Invariably artists’ work changes over time. They may move from photography to film or mixed media, to works on paper and if this is the case, buy an art work that is “very representative of the artist”, advises Seaton at Sadie Coles. She uses the example of Jim Lambie, a Scottish artist who was shortlisted for the Turner Prize last year and is best known for his series of metal box sculptures that go on the wall.
But having done your basic homework and armed with a realistic budget, there is only one guiding rule –if you are passionate about the piece you will have made the right investment.
In a unique partnership with Frieze, Ballymore is offering customers who purchase one of its Embassy Gardens Mews Houses a generous contribution towards contemporary artwork bought at Frieze. The gift will be made available when the houses are completed in 2019.
Frieze London, Regent’s Park, 6-9 October
Ballymore has taken the workaday housebuilder’s marketing suite and created some little triumphs of temporary architecture, says Will Wiles.
Like the celebrated Apple Stores, where stunning design has made them such a retail success, Ballymore wants its marketing pavilions to be intriguing, inviting spaces and emblems of a reassuring, perfectionist ethos that permeates all its developments.
Roger Black, Ballymore’s creative director explains the thinking behind the company’s pavilion for City Island, a riverside neighbourhood of 1700 homes. “What we wanted to do was not fight the fact that it’s a construction site, but actually celebrate it”, he says.
The visitor approaches by a carefully choreographed black-lined route. “All of a sudden you’re transformed, you see this beautiful jewel of a building surrounded by landscaping, but you also see all the construction around it as well”, he adds.
And like Apple Stores, which each offer their own look, each building is different according to its setting. Once inside, the spaces are carefully designed to set the visitor at ease while offering an element of surprise and engagement.
Opened in October 2015, Royal Wharf’s sales pavilion is an elegant, minimal box in dark metal and clear and frosted glass, crisp in the day and glowing after dark, set in landscaped grounds. The drama comes when potential purchasers arrive at the top level, which has meeting spaces and breathtaking views up and down the Thames.
“It has the aesthetic of being a beach house on the waterfront, it’s a beautiful modernist pavilion in the same genre as the likes of Philip Johnson or Corbusier,” says Black.
The pavilion for Embassy Gardens is set in a difficult landscape- a dual carriageway threading through a post-industrial wilderness undergoing, noisy, dusty transformation.
Architect Hal Currey who has designed all Ballymore’s pavilions in collaboration with Arup Associates says: “We had this idea of a beacon, as prominent in the night as it is in the day, a lit box along quite hostile Nine Elms Way”.
To create this tranquil oasis, a tall brick wall separates the building from the road – “a classic English garden wall,” says Black – and a heavy gate leads to an elevated pathway through an attractive garden of dune grasses and wild flowers. Within this garden is the marketing suite, which the path guides people past, and then towards, “so you get to see this beautiful glass cube within the setting for as long as possible” Black adds.
Inside, another play of concealment and revelation takes place. The show apartments are behind frosted glass, so light comes in but there are no views. Again, those are saved for the top level, 12 metres up, from where the Thames can be best enjoyed.
Will Wiles is an author and architecture writer.
Pavilions photography credit: HAL Photographer: Simon Kennedy
It’s said that ‘afternoon tea’ was first introduced to England by Anna, the 7th Duchess of Bedford in the late 19th century to overcome “that sinking feeling” she felt in the late afternoon. So began a fashion that has endured throughout the centuries. Today, afternoon tea in some London hotels has become an art form. Afternoon Tea with Lily Vanilli, served by EcoWorld Ballymore in its Wardian pop up throughout the summer reflects that trend.
We asked Jane Pettigrew, tea specialist, historian and writer what she thinks makes the perfect afternoon tea.
“The food should be small and elegant and easy to eat without making a mess. Everything should be eaten with the fingers, with the occasional help of a small tea knife or pastry fork and suited to the drawing room rather than the kitchen or dining room. The ceremony of afternoon tea started as social occasions in the drawing rooms of stately homes so people should dress elegantly and the room should be calm.
When it comes to choosing a tea, Jane recommends looking at the food on the menu first to make sure they go together. She says: “A light black tea, such as Darjeeling, or a Chinese green will go with the sandwiches, while a Ceylon black is better with the scones and jam and cream, then China or Taiwanese oolongs or a Chinese black with the pastries and cakes”.
But be guided by the sort of tea you prefer, your mood and time of year. “We tend to prefer more warming flavour profiles during colder winter months and lighter flavours doing the summer’ she adds.
Wouter Van Giel, who is the sommelier and Palm Court Manager at The Langham agrees.
“A different tea can complement each part of the afternoon tea, such a lighter black or green tea paired with sandwiches and a slightly sweeter black tea with scones and pastries. We would recommend trying something new each time you have afternoon tea, therefore choose a tea you have not had before.”
But when hunting out the perfect afternoon tea Wouter says look out for “ a lovely selection of freshly made sandwiches, warm scones with typical clotted cream and strawberry jam and a selection of pastries that are both individual and complement each other”,
Below is a guide to some other fabulous afternoon teas in the capital
A feast of botanically-inspired artisan cakes from East End bakery Lily Vanilli, served with a selection of teas from Tregothnan - the tea estate that is home to the world’s oldest surviving Wardian Case. Herbs such as basil, thyme and parsley are used in abundance, along with flowers and fruit and Lily Vanilli has infused some of her cake creations with Tregothnan’s teas.
Palm Court, The Langham
Serving afternoon tea to London society since 1865, the Langham continues to serve afternoon tea in the elegant surroundings of Palm Court. Choose from two bespoke teas, The Royal Afternoon Tea, and the Wedgwood Afternoon Tea, created by award winning Pastry Chef Cherish Finden.
And if you are there at 7pm, look out for Champagne Charlie who appears daily at 7pm to serve free champagne to guests.
TING, at Shangri-La Hotel, the Shard
Located on the 35th floor of Shangri-La at the Shard,Ting offers spectacular views of the city. There is a classic tea and an outstanding Asian tea offering delicately flavoured sweet and savory treats.
Classic afternoon tea of tasty finger sandwiches, scones, a selection of pastries and a choice of teas or champagne if you prefer. All served in the “Viennese grandeur” of this former Wolseley Car Company showroom.
Dean Street Townhouse
The perfect place for a cosy afternoon tea, with fireside armchairs and candlelight when night falls. Afternoon Tea includes finger sandwiches, scones, a selection of traditional fancy cakes such as lemon-drizzle and Battenberg.
Brentford is steeped in history and boasts a tantalising mix of 18th century architecture, industrial heritage and riverside frontage. Ballymore’s long-awaited development will make it one London’s most sought-after areas. Amanda Baillieu takes a look.
What’s all the fuss about?
Having been Kew’s poor relation, Brentford is about to undergo one of the most adventurous and redefining regeneration schemes of the London riverside. Ballymore plans to turn predominantly empty light industrial sites in the narrow lanes running down from the High Road to the River Brent into a vibrant mixed-use development. It’s a big long-awaited plan.
I’ve never heard of Brentford. Should I have done?
To most, Brentford will probably only ring one or two bells – but that’s part of its charm. Apart from Brentford Town FC which boasts passionate celebrity supporters such as ex-BBC director general Greg Dyke and, more unlikely, Hollywood actress Cameron Diaz, you need to know about The Butts, “an oasis of grandeur” of 18th century houses built around an ancient green just behind the old Court House. Former newsreader Anna Ford fell for The Butts years ago, and now lives in a perfectly proportioned house with original panelled walls and an open-air swimming pool in the back garden.
The other gem is its industrial heritage, which includes the two-centuries old boatyard and marine re-fitters on Brentside Wharf and the tiny but charming Brentford Gallery nestled on Johnson’s Island, a thriving community of painters, sculptors, artists and photographers.
I might go down and take a look, what else?
Personal favourites are the Brentford Sewage and Pumping Station, a fine example of Victorian industrial architecture built in 1893, the 200-foot Brentford Standpipe Tower, lording it over Kew Bridge and now the London Museum of Water and Steam and, if you’re after a good pint, the Fullers pub, The Brewery Tap, which holds live bluegrass music sessions twice a month.
And what about the neighbours?
Sky TV executives have long been attracted to the area because of its proximity to the company’s Osterley headquarters. More generally, housing demand comes from people who work on the nearby A4’s so-called Golden Mile, where big employers such as GlaxoSmithKline, Gillette, and Brompton Cycles all have headquarters. The BBC at White City is also an easy commute and veteran broadcaster Kate Adie was quick to snap up a flat in Brentford Dock, a generous and attractive council development built on the Brentford Dock riverfront by the GLC in the late Sixties after the railway marshalling yards closed down.
Give me some history.
It has a rich and fascinating history, mostly associated with the river. Known as ‘Old England’, the settlement of Brentford pre-dates the Roman occupation of Britain and therefore the founding of London itself. Situated at the first easily fordable point across the Thames at low tide, Brentford was where Julius Caesar had his first major confrontation with the fearsome faced-painted Britons after his invasion of Britain in 54 BC.
During the 19th century Brentford became known as “the great fruit and vegetable garden of London”. The Thames and the River Brent were linked with the new Grand Union Canal to Birmingham making it a vital dock and trade area.
Famous (past) residents include John Quincey Adams, the American Ambassador to London and future sixth President of the United States, who moved to Brentford in 1815, then a village in the countryside “in order to maintain the expensive carriages and liveries which social appearance demanded.”
How do I get there?
Brentford into Waterloo by overground takes 29 minutes or there is the Piccadilly line underground at Boston Manor just to the north. The District Line at Gunnersbury is 10 minutes away by bus to the east where there is also an overground connection. Heathrow is 15 minutes away.
What about schools?
For schools, Brentford School for Girls was among the Top 100 Schools praised for improvement in GCSEs and ranked by Ofsted as ‘outstanding’ in 2014, as was neighbouring Gunnersbury Catholic School with 1,000 boys.
It sounds amazing. How long do I have to wait?
Ballymore’s scheme has detailed permission and it will begin marketing the apartments next autumn. The first phase has 323 units, a supermarket and major improvements to the waterfront.
Amanda Baillieu is an editor and journalist and founder of archioboo.com
Ballymore triumphed at the prestigious Resi Awards last night, walking away with the coveted Large Developer of the Year, trumping five major national competitors.
Accepting the award, Sean Mulryan, founder and chairman of the Ballymore Group said, “Our core values at Ballymore include exciting design and placemaking, and this award is testament to that approach.”
“We are a developer intent on creating a cultural economy around the areas we develop, creating inspiring places with intelligently designed homes anchored by culture and community. Our entry into this award featured details of how we delivered on these aspirations at Embassy Gardens and London City Island – where we are creating completely new neighborhoods in London”.
The judges praised Ballymore for ‘Standout financials and exceptional marketing and design” which they said, set them apart from their competitors.
Mulryan added: “We are thrilled with what has been achieved and thank the judges and our industry peers for their support of Ballymore.”
Ballymore beat Essential Living, Hill, Redrow Homes, Telford and The Berkeley Group to take the award.
Gyles Brandreth, former Tory MP and now broadcaster and writer, announced the winners at the sold-out awards dinner, attended by more than 1,200 people from the property world at the Grosvenor Hotel in London’s West End.
Brian Eckersley is a structural engineer. He set up Eckersley O’ Callaghan 12 years ago with James O’Callaghan. The practice has engineered some of the most world’s most ambitious glass structures and is the engineer for Ballymore’s Sky Pool at Embassy Gardens, designed by Hal Currey.
When the Sky Pool was unveiled last year, it created a media storm. Were you surprised?
It was a bit unexpected. We’ve done a lot of innovative things before, like the glass cube for Apple on 5th Avenue, so we didn’t see this as anything out of the ordinary. We’re used to working on extraordinary projects.
Wasn’t the excitement because it’s a world first?
As far as we’re aware it is. No one has spanned 150 tonnes of water 10 storeys up before and will it be a great technical achievement to pull it off but there are precedents.
For the Sky Pool we’re using acrylic not glass so we’ve been looking at aquarium because they use acrylic too. Acrylic has a high degree of transparency and light passes through it in a straight line without any distortion. We’re taking it a step further though because we’re dealing with people not fish.
So I’ll be able to see the swimmers quite clearly from underneath?
Yes. That’s because acrylic is a lot less obtrusive than glass, which would have needed more laminating. The more you laminate, the less transparency.
I still don’t understand how the pool is fixed to the building
The pool is supported between two adjacent buildings with a clear span of 14 metres. Only this part is transparent. The remaining 11 metes sit in stainless steel tubs on bearings at each end of the acrylic span.
Why does it sit on bearings?
Because buildings move. All buildings do, so the bearings allow it to slide. Obviously you don’t feel the movement because it’s tiny – just a few millimetres - but you have to calculate what the effect of wind at that height will be as well the change in temperature. Both of these can cause a building to shift slightly.
It sounds amazing but a bit stressful.
Not really. The biggest challenge is dealing with the huge pressure on the structure because it’s carrying so much weight. The pool will hold 150 tonnes of water and the structure is 50 tonnes. Then you have to add the people- another 4 tonnes. But our job is to work out all the possible behaviours. Nothing is left to chance.
So how long before I can have a swim?
Not long. The first building is almost complete and piling has started for the second one. Before the second one is finished we’ll start construction. We ‘re thinking of having it entirely fabricated in the USA and then shipped across and hoisted up by a crane. I’m hoping it’ll be open by 2017.
New residential developments along the Thames will mean a dramatic increase in the numbers of people using river transport. But the service should also meet the same high design standards as the rest of London’s transport network argues Jonathan Glancey.
In 1350, King Edward III set his seal on an Act of Parliament prohibiting the obstruction of the Thames. Unregulated development had seen buildings jutting out into the river and blocking the passage of boats, while hustling river traffic itself could be downright dangerous.Watching the lack of activity on the Thames outside rush hours and the summer tourist season between Hammersmith and the City today makes you wonder why anyone might ever have thought of regulating its traffic. The river can seem dreamily and even eerily quiet.
It was not always so, as King Edward’s legislation proves. Out of control again, in 1514 Henry VIII approved a further Act of Parliament to licence the many Thames Watermen, Wherrymen and Bargemen who were the bus drivers, taxi drivers and delivery van drivers of their day. Lightermen - Thames “lorry drivers” - were brought into this regulated fold in 1700.
For the next 250 years, the partially regulated Thames was very busy indeed. By the 1840s, passenger steamboats had joined the riverine maelstrom, paddling their smoky way through throngs of slim, white-sailed clippers and stout, red-sailed Thames barges berthed at wharves crowded with dockers, goods and foodstuff sourced from around the globe.
Despite jostling traffic, powerful tides and challenging currents, the Thames was much the quickest way to get through a London of narrow, dirty and dangerous streets. Today, the very train, tram, bus and Underground services that, for the best part of a century, greatly reduced the need for workaday river transport, are now - despite promise of Crossrail - stretched to their limits. The brave may have taken to their bikes, and more so with the lure of an East-West Cycle Superhighway, but as this will narrow major traffic arteries like the Embankment, London’s streets will become ever busier.
Thames water traffic through London has grown strongly since 2000, a year, that is, after London River Services Ltd, a subsidiary of Transport for London was formed to bring river transport into line with Tube and bus services. In 2002, 3m passengers travelled by river, a figure that more than doubled over the next decade and, according to TfL’s River Action Plan published in 2013, will rise to 12 million by 2020. TfL’s belief is that a combination of road and rail congestion and major new residential developments along the Thames, including Royal Wharf, New Providence Wharf and London City Island together with London’s first cruise terminal at Enderby Wharf on the Greenwich Peninsula, will accelerate the demand for river transport. Numbers, meanwhile, rose significantly when, in 2009, Oyster Cards were accepted on riverboats.
However, the number taking to the water is only guaranteed to rise to the extent that it will reduce road and rail congestion, if there is a much better sense of connectedness between land and water transport. Ideally, the transition between the fast, comfortable commuter Catamarans operated by Thames Clippers since 1999 and bus stops and Underground stations should be seamless.
There’s also a need for some new piers, which ideally need to be designed to the same high standards as the best Underground stations. These should be a proper part of London’s transport network and of the fabric of the city itself. River bus services need to be promoted on posters as eye-catching as those produced by London Transport over the decades and through advertising campaigns and the media as well as in their design: too often, piers, for example, remain invisible, even from the decks of riverboats themselves.
Existing riverboats would benefit from considered liveries that make them look more like essential public transport vehicles serving the city rather than merely upgraded pleasure cruisers. London might learn from cities like Venice, Sydney, Istanbul and Hong Kong where river buses are an integral part of the urban transport scene.
While London will never have the intensity of river bus services found in these waterfront cities open to neighbouring islands and the sea, if these services are fully integrated into the life, purpose, movement and rhythm of the city, the Thames will find its place once again as London’s true super highway.
Jonathan Glancey is an architectural journalist and writer. He was architecture and design critic at The Guardian and prior to that The Independent.
British rug designer Helen Yardley will transpose her studio full of richly coloured rugs and wall hangings to Craft Central, St John’s Square, for the duration of Clerkenwell Design Week. Here she talks to Liz Bury about her favourite design objects and why she treasures her vacuum cleaner.
Designer, Bertjan Pot
Manufacturer, Moooi, 2010
Yardley’s choice of the wild plant-inspired pendant lamp is typical of a delight in nature-inspired pieces, as well as functionality, which threads through her favourites. “It’s an incredibly delicate design, incredibly clever. It has branches coming off other branches, the way a tree does. It looks like a plant, and is a beautiful shape”, says Yardley.
Emma Electric Kettle
Designer, Sebastian Holmbäck
Manufacturer, Stelton, 2013
“My 17 year-old daughter wants an iKettle, which you switch on with your iPhone, but I think, when would you ever want to? What is the point? I have a Kitchenaid kettle, but I love this, it’s like a beautiful jug,” says Yardley. She is drawn to the kettle’s “lovely wooden handle,” and, characteristically, to its colour. “It looks white, but it’s actually very pale blue”.
Designer, Aldo Rossi
Manufacturer, Alessi, 1987
Yardley was encouraged to splash out on her credit card for the Momento watch by an impulsive designer friend 20 years ago, while admiring it in the Alessi store in Milan. She later discovered that hers is an early numbered version, making it doubly special. “It cost £380, which was a huge amount at the time,” she says. Her watch is the male version because, “I have makers’ hands,” Yardley explains. “It has a beautiful steel case, clicks satisfyingly out of its mooring, turning the watch face into a pendant, and keeps very good time,” she adds.
Lamino Easy Chair by Swedese
Designer, Yngve Ekström, 1956
Yardley owns two Lamino chairs: the first, a family heirloom, her father bought for her mother in an design shop in Devon where she grew up. “I remember sitting in it, aged 10, and stroking the arms, thinking, who has a sheepskin chair ?.” The oak frame chair was given to Yardley by her mother several years go and has been reupholstered with sheepskin. It now lives in her Camden home.
The second, another oak frame, was bought on eBay, lives in her London Bridge studio, and is in need of renovation. Yardley is still intrigued by the material and the construction, and has grown to appreciate the chair’s “feminine” quality. “It’s steamed, bent wood; it is tapered at the neck and widens at the hip area. Although designed by a man, it’s delicate, light and refined. So much of the product out there is still very male.”
Designer, Jim Kirby, 1979
As you might expect for a rug maker, a well-designed hoover is a vital piece of kit, and Yardley adores her Kirby Tradition, which retains much of the post-war American charm of earlier Kirby models,. “We hoover the rugs a lot. I love it because it bloody works, it really sucks stuff up,” she says. The heavy, aluminium head has a headlight on the front, a dust bag which can be unhooked and worn over-the-shoulder style, and an outlet for nails and other small objects which get sucked up accidentally.
Liz Bury is a freelance journalist and film maker.
The annual city-wide celebration of architecture returns for the entire month of June with over 200 activities stretching across every corner of London.
Architecture lovers are spoilt for choice in June when the annual London Festival of Architecture returns with a month of talks, walks, events and exhibitions.
Since it launched 12 years ago, LFA has helped transform the perception of architecture from a niche interest to a vital element of the capital’s economic, social and financial framework.
One of the festival’s hottest is a talk on Ballymore’s Sky Pool at Embassy Gardens by Hal Currey and Brian Eckersley, the architect and engineer respectively.
This will be the first public talk on the ground -breaking Sky Pool since it was unveiled last summer and a chance to quiz the designers on some of the challenges of spanning two buildings 35 metres in the air.
Then, on June 17th Huw Morgan, the landscape architect, will be giving a talk about the Embassy Gardens section of Nine Elms Gardens. Inspired by New York’s “high line” linear park, his presentation will be at the Embassy Gardens marketing suite that has been landscaped to represent how the park will look when it is completed in 2017.
June is also the month when the annual Serpentine Pavilion opens, introducing visitors to an architect who has not yet built in the UK before.
This year’s pavilion is designed by Danish architect Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) which is known for its forward-thinking concepts and exciting ideas.
Conceived as a wall of fibreglass that “unzips” or splits open to reveal a three-dimensional space, during the day it will be used as a café and free family activities while at night it becomes the venue for the Serpentine’s Park Nights programme of performance works by artists, writers and musicians.
If pavilions are your thing be sure to head down to Kew Gardens where the Hive, the UK’S award winning pavilion will be taking up permanent residence from June 18th.
Standing 17 metres in the air, the Hive is described as an immersive, multi-sensory experience inspired by ground-breaking UK scientific research into the health of bees.
But it’s no ordinary hive. The 40 tonne lattice structure is animated by hundreds of glowing LED lights while vibration sensors within a real beehive trigger musical sounds giving a fascinating insight into the ever-moving life of a bee colony.
Pavilion’s photography credit: Iwan Baan
Frank Busette is Duty Manager at Embassy Gardens and has been working for Ballymore since 2015.
What did you do before you joined Ballymore?
I came here from Barbados in 2000. I studied in the day and worked in evenings I got to know some great hotels where the customer ethic is really strong and they taught me a lot. I learnt that you always need to treat everyone with the same dignity and respect and give them your full attention. That’s what makes great service.
I like being front of house because I enjoy being with people. I’ve worked behind a desk but I missed face-to-face so when Ballymore said it was looking for quality staff that could run Embassy Gardens just like a 5-star hotel I thought this would be a dream job.
So it was the right decision?
I’m lucky. I know all the residents’ names and if they don’t see me for a few days because I’ve been working nights they’ll ask where I’ve been. It’s like a family here and that makes it all worthwhile.
What makes you stressed?
Embassy Gardens is a new building and if something’s not working we have to see that it’s fixed. And I have to play good cop, bad cop. There’s rules about living here. You can’t hang your wet towel over the balcony and you’re not allowed pets. That doesn’t mean people don’t try and bend the rules. I know one lady who has a “handbag” dog but she’s really good at hiding it but she knows one day I will catch her out.
How do you relax?
The views from the roof are spectacular but you’re not allowed up there. If I need a break, I just walk over the road and there’s a bench I sit on facing the Thames. It’s a good place to relax. When I can, I head off to the country on my motorbike.
What makes it all worthwhile?
It’s the residents that keep me here. If I know someone who’s a rugby fan and is on their own I’ll call them up and say “why don’t you come down” because they’ll always be a bunch of people watching it on the big screen. That’s the way you build a community.
What about the future?
I’ll go back to Barbados when I’ve had enough of the cold but I’m not there yet.
A magazine celebrating the energy and dynamism of South West London lays to rest tired notions about this long overlooked part of the city. Julie Tomlin reviews Nine magazine.
NINE, a 58-page book and magazine hybrid published by Ballymore, explores Nine Elms, a South Bank district close to Vauxhall and just across the river from Pimlico. A celebration of architecture, fashion and the arts, as well the vibrant communities who live and work there, it also reflects the unfolding story of Embassy Gardens and the wider Nine Elms District.
Everyone who took part in creating NINE, and the people and topics featured within it, share an association with the area; from a stunning map of South West London created by Achraf Amiri – which presents a vision of the arts and fashion district that is fast becoming a reality, to features about local entrepreneurs, including the artisanal bakery Lily Vanilli and a guide to the many restaurants in the area.
A raft of architecture stories explore exciting aspects of the development at Embassy Gardens, including the avant garde design of Sky Pool as well as an exclusive interview with James Corner, the visionary architect behind the High Line Park in New York – on which Nine Elms’ Linear Park is based.
Other content showcases all the area has to offer, including a vibrant arts scene with an increasing global reach and the contribution made by leading creatives such as Dame Vivienne Westwood, Battersea’s most famous fashion resident. The pioneering artist Daniel Lismore who has set up home in Battersea is featured, and the artists tipped as the Transatlantic Creatives to watch include Sam Lansky, author of The Gilded Razor, rising star of r&b Alo Lee, poet Kojey Radical, and artist Millie Browne.
“We got a team of people who were passionate about the area together, we wanted to gain knowledge from inside the area, find out who is living or working there and what stories they have to tell”
“We got a team of people who were passionate about the area together, we wanted to gain knowledge from inside the area, find out who is living or working there and what stories they have to tell,” says content editor of Nine magazine, Hayleigh O’Farrell. “People used to think that nothing was happening south of the river, but over the past five years that has changed dramatically. Once you start looking around and pulling everything together you realise quite how many really cool and interesting things are going on, we wanted to showcase that.”
Nik Thakkar, another creative lead on NINE, says working on it “was a good fit” as he has lived in the area for 5 years “I’m very passionate about how the area has developed and how it’s been growing,” he says. “The Nine Elms and Vauxhall area is now a dynamic hub for technology and arts. With focal points such as Sky Pool the area’s set to become an iconic part of London.”
Copies of NINE will be available at sports events, private members clubs, first class lounges and in London’s Evening Standard later this month.
Julie Tomlin is a freelance journalist who writes for a variety of national titles, she was previously deputy editor of Press Gazette.
As part of its ongoing commitment to working with the community, Ballymore has thrown “a lifeline” to the London Docklands Sailing and Watersports Centre which trains young sailors - many from deprived areas of Tower Hamlets, to go on to compete in national and international events.
Ballymore this month agreed to sponsor the Centre’s 2016 Youth Afloat Programme, helping to make the event “larger than ever and provide a lasting impact on the local and London-wide community”, according to Judi Sanders, Centre Manager, who said she was “honoured and delighted to have the Ballymore Group as a sponsorship partner.”
Launched in 1989 with the help of the London Docklands Development Corporation, the Centre now works with more than 500 young people “to provide water related activities for the benefit of all sections of the community living and working within the Isle of Dogs, Tower Hamlets and the Greater London area, irrespective of means.”
Ballymore’s sponsorship will go towards the Youth Racing Programme, enabling six local youth sailors to take part in the Topper National Championship in North Berwick, Scotland.
The Youth Racing Programme supports young sailors who dream of competing sailing at local, national and international level. They include Courtney Bilbrough who recently represented Great Britain at the ISAF Youth World Championships in Langkawi, Malaysia, and Callum Dixon who has just competed in the Open Finn Europeans in Barcelona.
The Centre’s Water Operations Manager, Benjamin Davis explained: “The return of these young sailors to the Centre builds a realization in the new children of how far their skills can take them and provides an aspirational impact to their racing. Ballymore Group’s sponsorship is a lifeline.”
The money will also be used to replace “our ageing and quite tired supply of wetsuits” for local people to go windsurfing all the year round, not just in the summer.
Said Meri Ariffin, Fundraising Coordinator: “Not only that, it will also enable children from disadvantaged families to take part in all activities without the expense of having to buy a wetsuit, which previously has been a barrier. Of course as they grow, they require a new one every eight to 12 months!”
Laura Corr has been working for Ballymore since 2014. She is a development manager on London City Island and Embassy Gardens. She grew up in Dublin and went to university in Bristol. Laura is a qualified chartered surveyor.
How did you come to work for Ballymore?
I liked its story. I guess being an Irish company helped but I like what it does. I’m really attracted to developments on the river because it reminds me of Dublin and Ballymore does that well.
How would you describe yourself?
I’m a practical person. I never saw the point of education for education’s sake. I wanted a qualification that would take me somewhere.
What does a development manager do?
I need to get involved in every stage of a project from pre-planning stage right through to handover. A lot of it is to do with the budget and the construction and this means working closely with all our consultants, like the QSs and architects. But I also need to understand the sales and marketing strategy band which retailers we’re going to let units to. It’s about being keeper of all those things.
What do you enjoy the most about your job?
It’s the variety. I usually spend three days in the office and two on site. No day is the same. One day I’ll be in a planning meeting until late in the evening and the next I could be putting a list of architects together for a new project.
What keeps you awake at night?
We’re always seeing if we can do something better and that means I have a long list of things I have to do and people I need to chase.
Development takes so long. How you stay focused?
It does takes a long time but it’s quicker than you think. I wasn’t here at the start of London City Island but I remember Embassy Gardens in 2014 when we put up a Christmas tree and all of a sudden there’s a Waitrose here. Where did all that time go?
There’s been a lot of criticism of tall buildings in London . What’s your view?
I love tall buildings and if you go to a city like New York you realise that London still doesn’t have that many towers. But if people don’t want to move to the suburbs they’re going to have to get used to living high.
If you could write your own epitaph what would it say?
There are very few people who can credibly say they worked on changing the skyline of the best city in the world.
A spring garden outside Canary Wharf Underground station was just one element of an eye-catching pop up that marked the recent launch of Wardian London’s West Tower together with a bespoke gardener service.
The temporary ‘forest’ of pines, cedars, and a host of other trees and plants in an area as busy as Canary Wharf was an expression of landscape architect Huw Morgan’s passion for creating havens of natural beauty in the city.
“We created a spring garden, with an unusual collection of trees and very unusual seeders, underlaid with spring flowering magnolias that sit within the pine and cedar forest”, says Morgan, whose belief is that the therapeutic qualities of plants and natural environments become particularly vital in an urban context.
This core belief in the importance of greenery in the city is being realised with a bespoke gardening service that will see a new balcony garden system rolled out across the Wardian London development. Devised with Blackdown Horticulture, a leading expert in green roof technology, the Wardian Gardener is introduced in a Ladybird-inspired book with ‘notebook’ descriptions of the ferns and succulents to choose from, plus other features that can be selected.
The book was launched along with a partnership with Tregothnan Estate who provide tea bushes for the pop up. The only tea plantation in Britain is also permanent home to the last remaining original Wardian Case, a replica of which was on display at Canary Wharf throughout the week. First created in East London to transport tea plants - and a flat-pack prototype of their time - the distinctive glass case is also a homage to 19th-century botanist Nathaniel Bagshaw Ward who popularised it as a means of transporting plants and whose legacy is at the heart of the scheme.
Julie Tomlin is a freelance journalist who writes for a variety of national titles, she was previously deputy editor of Press Gazette.
The usually low key streets of Clerkenwell, London’s hub for architects, designers and makers, will burst into life this May for Clerkenwell Design Week, the district’s annual show of design talent. By Liz Bury.
Architects and designers, lured by the area’s stock of Victorian brick warehouses, and its location between The City and West End, first began colonising it in the late 1980s. Now, it’s the heart of London’s design community, served by plenty of artisan coffee houses, craft breweries and upmarket cafes and restaurants.
Stretching from Spa Fields in the north to Smithfield in the south, the festival wends a trail through Clerkenwell’s creative community, its historic public spaces, and contemporary design showrooms.
The green space of Spa Fields, a historic site of riots and rebellions, will host Design Fields, a large, curated exhibition of contemporary design within a specially constructed two-storey pavilion, with spaces for events and relaxation.
There is a trail of specially commissioned installations, CDW Presents, along the two-and-a-half mile route. Swedish architects White Arkitekter take pride of place in St John’s Square with its Museum of Making, an exploded barn pavilion with an exhibition celebrating Clerkenwell’s rich heritage of craftsmanship and making.
New exhibitions are introduced for 2016. Project will present international furniture, lighting and product designers, sharing St James’s Church Garden with Additions, focusing on small scale interiors products from ceramics, to candles to tableware; and British Collection, in the crypt of St James’s Church, is a new, dedicated exhibition of home-grown design talent.
Brewhouse Yard, midway along the trail, will act as a gateway to the many design showrooms nearby, with a pop-up cafe, information point, workspace, and events. Established names like Vitra, Italian interiors brand Arper, and Sto Werkstatt, will rub shoulders with emerging studios such as BD Design and Forest & Found, and a new generation of makers which has gravitated to Craft Central in St John’s Square.
The big, established exhibitions return this year. Detail is showing luxury interiors at Museum of the Order of St John, and Detail Pavilion, on St John’s Square, will focus on luxury surfaces. Cutting edge show Platform, which will incorporate a number of Clerkenwell Design Week debuts in 2016, is at House of Detention, the subterranean former 19th century prison.
Goldsmith’s Centre will be a destination for a special exhibition on contemporary goldsmithing, the popular Conversations at Clerkenwell and ‘salons’ curated by Dutch designer Ineke Hans exploring the future of furniture design.
Clerkenwell’s night time economy of restaurants, bars, and nightclubs, echoes its centuries old reputation for radicalism and debauchery, and this year, Icon’s House of Culture, a show of international design curated by the lifestyle publishing brand, takes up residency at Fabric, London’s legendary nightclub venue.
Liz Bury is a freelance journalist and film maker.
Every successful festival now seems to boast a fringe or spin-off events that often offer a more diverse and inclusive programme than the main event. Think of the Edinburgh Festival or London’s Frieze art fair. By Amanda Baillieu.
The same is true of Chelsea Fringe, which launched five years ago as an alternative to the very Establishment Chelsea Flower Show held in the 11-acre grounds of the Royal Hospital.
While the two events coincide, they couldn’t be more different. The Fringe is not a show as such with a showground or competitions or displays. Rather it’s a wonderful medley of ideas about gardening, food and art and how together that can change our experience of the contemporary city.
RHS Chelsea Flower Show receives 157,000 visitors each year while an estimated 200,000 attended a Fringe event last year. So who are they?
According to Fringe founder director Tim Richardson, the audience is “anyone with a creative interest in gardens and flowers. It’s for people who don’t look upon gardening just as a back garden activity”.
And of course it appeals to a younger generation who may only have a windowsill or a balcony to grow things or are involved in the growing number of community garden projects, such as the Edible Bus Stop project, which began when a group of locals created a vegetable plot on an ugly area of pavement next to a bus stop in Brixton, south London.
The Nine Elms area has become one of the festival’s key locations because it’s bursting with horticultural history from the Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens to New Covent Garden Market. To mark this Embassy Gardens will be hosting two events during the Fringe, the first an interactive experience with artist Nora Silva and the second, a photography workshop for families.
With over 350 events to choose from there’s something for everyone from the chance to go behind the scenes of New Covent Garden Flower Market at Nine Elms and the UKs largest wholesale flower market to a performance by a travelling Russian vegetable theatre, followed by a themed Ukrainian menu.
Amanda Baillieu is an editor and journalist and founder of archioboo.com