• Down by the River Bank

    Royal Wharf's history has influenced its new architecture


Down by the River Bank

Royal Wharf to be the focus for Ballymore & Oxley’s event for the London Festival of Architecture

Architects Mae, Serie Architects and Glenn Howells Architects will explore what gives a place identity and why London is always being re-invented at a special London Festival of Architecture event at Royal Wharf.

Royal Wharf, on the north bank of the Thames is steeped in history. Part of the Royal Docks regeneration area and formerly Minoco Wharf, it was originally riverside marshes before becoming part of the world’s biggest port in the 19th century.

The development by Ballymore and Oxley will see the area transformed into a new community for approximately 10,000 residents. The first residents moved into their new homes in early 2017

The event will begin with a tour of Royal Wharf led by Glenn Howells of Glenn Howells Architects followed by presentations by Alex Ely of Mae Architects and Chris Lee of Serie Architects. Each will explain how understanding the history of the site and the wider context of London’s ‘great estates’ have shaped the architecture.

Mae’s building at Royal Wharf reflects the geology of the riverbank. The 14-storey building has a textured façade inspired by oyster shells discovered in the excavation of dock walls.

In contrast, Serie Architects building references classical architecture and Nash terraces. Finally, Glenn Howells Architects has taken inspiration from both Docklands warehouses and the historic squares of east London.

The London Architecture Festival is an annual citywide event whose theme this year is ‘identity’.

The festival director Tamsie Thomson said “ London is the best city on earth – made more so thanks to its gloriously maddening, diverse and eclectic character but what defines the city and therefore the identity of those who live in it?”

The tour ends at the Marketing Suite designed by HAL Architects an elegant, minimal box in dark metal and clear and frosted glass that offers sweeping views of Greenwich Peninsula and the Thames Barrier.

The event will begin at Pontoon Dock DLR station at 6.30pm, followed by a tour, drinks and presentations at the Royal Wharf marketing suite.

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