Royal Docks ‘floating village’

Following a competition, Carillion Igloo Genesis has been selected to transform the 15 acres of water at the Royal Victoria Dock site, sitting directly to the east of the Emirates Airline, transforming it into a thriving community with floating homes, restaurants, cafes and bars.

Although a first for the UK, floating developments are already a popular idea on the continent with successful schemes at ljburg near Amsterdam and Hafen City in Hamburg as well as many others examples of floating homes throughout Scandinavia. The architects for the floating village are dRMM, led by Professor Alex de Rijke. Professor de Rijke recently presented his studies on floating villages to the prestigious Venice architecture biennale. The scheme engineers are Buro Happold.

The winning consortium’s scheme includes a custom build approach for each of the 50 residential homes, enabling prospective occupiers to be part fo the design-process of their homes, and a blue water square, framed by a market square and a floating corniche. There will also be a large multi-purpose events space and a mix of non-residential uses including restaurants, cafes, shops and leisure and office space. Plans for additional facilities, such as a floating Lido and an ice rink, were also proposed as part of the bid.

The scheme takes inspiration from the tried and tested floating homes at Ijberg and have been assisted by Dutch floating structures experts Mark van Ommen of Floatbase and Ton van Namen of Monteflore who have already delivered exemplar schemes of over 300 floating structures.

The Mayor inherited almost 700 hectares of land as a result of the Localism Act and is currently one of the largest owners of public land in London. He is determined to bring more public land forward for development and accelerate the number of homes being built for Londoners. Working with the London Borough of Newham, this includes the regeneration of the former Royal Docks area, with recent investments in this area including the opening of the Emirates cable car and the Siemens Crystal Centre, as well as forthcoming developments on GLA owned land at Silvertown Quays and Royal Albert Docks which combined would result in over 8 million sq ft Gross External Area of new commercial space.

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