Blackwall Reach

Poplar, London

Following the masterplan review, Metropolitan Workshop and Haworth Tompkins Architects were jointly appointed to design Phase 2. Phase 2  comprises of four buildings, replacing the eastern wing of Robin Hood Gardens creating 268 homes of which 50% are affordable. The collaboration between the two practise fundamentally improved the scheme’s design and enriched the design process, generating two pairs of buildings, of differing but related appearance, with an overarching commonality through massing, materials and relationship to the park and the street.

All four buildings in Phase 2 are arranged as a pair of taller elements connected by lower rise terraces of a more intimate scale. The stepped profile reduces the impact of the scheme on Cotton Street and provides a high degree of dual aspect housing. Buildings are arranged to allow views from the street into Millennium Green, connecting with the wider area. Daylight and sunlight penetration to the central space and dwellings will be greatly improved.

Phase 2 is currently under construction and is due for completion 2022.

Team: Haworth Tompkins (Collaborating Architect) / AKT II / Heyne Tillett Steel (Structures) / Townshend Landscape Architect / Standerwick Land Design (Landscape) / Savills (Planning) / Mendick Waring (Services) / Potter Raper Partnership (QS) / C & A Consulting Engineers (Civils) / WSP (Fire) / Construction Safe (Principal Designer) / J R Pickstock (Main Contractor) / VGV Facades UK Ltd and Decomo UK Ltd (Cladding Contractor)

Collaborators: Jonny Allams Lesley Johnson Toby Johnson

Status: Under construction

Masterplan Review

Metropolitan Workshop won an invited competition in 2013 to review the Blackwall Reach Regeneration Project masterplan, a housing-led regeneration project being developed by a partnership between Swan Housing Association and the two main landowners; the London Borough of Tower Hamlets and the Greater London Authority. The 9 ha masterplan was originally granted planning in 2012 but several barriers to delivery existed.

Our practice proposed significant modifications and revisions to the masterplan which were well received by the community and heritage lobby and welcomed by the development partners as they simplified and de-risked the delivery of this complex plan. The overall masterplan provides up to 1575 residential units, retail, business units, community uses, school, mosque and a new energy centre in a total of 5 phases.

Image: Illustrative axonometric view of Phase 2 & 3