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Silvertown Plot 1

Mixed use docklands regeneration

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Client: Lendlease
Status: Planning received
Location: Silvertown, London
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Type/Sector: Mixed-use, Residential, Retail
Tagged: Collaboration, Mixed Use

Collaborators

Masterplanner Prior and Partners
Landscape Architect Churchman Thornhill Finch
Cost Consultant Lendlease
Building Engineer Bryden Wood
Fire Engineer OFR
Acoustic Consultant Sandy Brown
Planning Consultant DP9
Other Phase 1 Architects AHMM, PTEa, Maccreanor Lavington

In the past ten years, we have been selected as the pioneer architect on a number of largescale regeneration projects, including Elephant and Castle, Kings Cross and Battersea Power Station. Our work on Plot 1 of the Silvertown development in Newham, east London, continues this pattern by creating 265 new homes on a fantastic waterside plot.

Collaborators

Masterplanner Prior and Partners
Landscape Architect Churchman Thornhill Finch
Cost Consultant Lendlease
Building Engineer Bryden Wood
Fire Engineer OFR
Acoustic Consultant Sandy Brown
Planning Consultant DP9
Other Phase 1 Architects AHMM, PTEa, Maccreanor Lavington
01 Pioneering regeneration in Silvertown, East London

Silvertown is a 63-acre waterfront swathe of land bordering the Royal Victoria Dock and close to Thames Barrier Park.

The area boasts a rich industrial and trading heritage as it formed part of London’s docks from the mid-19th to the 20th century – the gateway to the world in the Victorian era.  The advent of containerised trade led to the closure of the docks in the 1980s when the site fell into disrepair, was grossly undervalued, used for illegal raves and extensively as a film set for blockbuster releases.

Silvertown Plot 1

Stowaway species at Silvertown

International trading hub [2]

The site’s history as a Victorian trading post has created a very interesting biodiversity legacy. The site is home to some very rare trees and plants, germinated from stowaway seeds that travelled incognito and hitched a ride to east London in the holds of ships from across the world.

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Illustrative view of main lobby space
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Illustrative view of facade
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Exploded axonometric of typical building arrangement
02 High quality residential accommodation

dRMM have worked closely with client Lendlease in the extensive regeneration plans for the Silvertown site.

A thoroughly mixed-use development will take shape, transforming the prominent Millennium Mills building to a modern workplace and hotel offering, retaining and enhancing the existing dock infrastructure around extensive public realm and the provision of new homes for Londoners.

Plot 1 forms the main frontage to the Silvertown development and will signify the reawakening of the site after 30 years of underuse, neglect and dereliction. It will offer high quality residential accommodation totalling 265 homes set along the dock edge, with a landscaped courtyard and both communal and private roof terraces. Uniquely, a 15-acre body of water lies in front of Victoria Dock, with the potential for swimming, canoeing and sailing.

The plot frames the main pedestrian route through the Silvertown development and anchor point of a new bridge across the Royal Victoria Dock. Retail and hospitality units at ground floor create an active streetscape with cafes and bars spilling out into the public realm.

The arrangement of the buildings has been carefully considered to ensure the maximum exposure towards the docks, allowing views through the plot while the external composition pays homage to the bygone heritage of the site while reducing the overshadowing of the quayside.

With Lendlease, dRMM have carefully considered the resident’s experience of the building.  A generous resident’s lobby is provided off the main pedestrian throughfare that accommodates a resident’s lounge and concierge service while creating a link to the landscaped courtyard at first floor providing green space and opportunities for interaction between residents.

Silvertown Plot 1

What else is happening in Phase 1 of Silvertown?

Local development [1]

The masterplan for Silvertown was developed by Prior and Partners. As well as the dRMM-designed Plot 1, Phase 1 of the Silvertown redevelopment includes the refurbishment and extension of the Millennium Mills building by Allford Hall Monaghan Morris architects, transforming a derelict and imposing flour mill to a vibrant workspace. Residential development of plots 5, 6, 7 and 8 to the south have been designed by Maccreanor Lavington Architects and Pollard Thomas Edwards architects, and public realm and landscape proposals by Churchman Thornhill Finch.

www.silvertown.com

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View of the Millennium Mills and Plot 1 across the Royal Victoria Dock.
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Millennium Flour milled at the Millennium Mills, former packaging labels.
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The Royal Docks in the 1980s after its closure
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Silvertown streetscape in 1950. The 26,263-ton steam liner Dominion Monarch dwarfs the surrounding houses from her dry dock at Silvertown
Hold and drag to explore
03 Setting the standards

Interpreting the masterplan

As one of the pioneering architects developing the first phase of the masterplan, we required a good understanding of the site and the underlying masterplan principles.  We worked alongside Prior and Partners as the masterplanners and were able to overcome challenges around the infrastructure, phasing, logistics and set the aspirations for the plot environs.  Collaboratively we benchmarked what good design might look like for the rest of the project, establishing a strong sense of place.

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Ground floor general arrangement plan
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First floor general arrangement plan and residents’ landscaped courtyard
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typical floor general arrangement plan
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East-west cross section
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Masterplan
04 Ongoing consultation

A public consultation for Phase 1 was conducted over a seven-month period as part of the pre-planning process for the Silvertown development.

Over 440 individual pieces of feedback were collected through the consultation process, either at public events or via the Commonplace website. Overall, stakeholders have been largely supportive of the development’s objectives and intention of bringing the site into use again after years of being vacant and inaccessible.

When redevelopment of the site is complete, Silvertown will provide thousands of new homes and other space including commercial, brand, retail, hotel and community uses. Phase 1 offers 20% affordable housing and the overall scheme will deliver 35%, with ambitions to further increase.

As a developer, it’s about creating a community that’s authentic and real, and that starts from engaging the local community to live, work and play in their own area.
Graham Stark
Silvertown Quays Project Director

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