Published: 26/01/2022Developer: Ballymore & EcoWorld
Architect: Glenn Howells Architects London
Contractor: Ballymore Construction
Development Mix: 1750 homes consisting of studios, 1 beds, 2 beds, 3 beds, Townhouses & Penthouses.
Ballymore’s London City Island (LCI) development is the proud winner of numerous industry awards including the Resi Award for Development of the Year in 2017, the London Evening Standard Award for Best Regeneration Project 2017, the London Planning Award 2017 for Best New Place to Live and the Property Week Award 2018 for Placemaking. Collectively these represent some of the most coveted awards in the new homes sector and London City Island has had an absolute field day.
Collectively one award seems to lead onto the next and by insuring interesting, high calibre anchor tenants such as the English National Ballet and the London Film School Ballymore have breathed life, vibrance and energy into the area. For almost 200 years this part of East London was renowned for manufacturing and industry. Today it is a dynamic cultural quarter. One of the biggest complaints we hear from buyers when considering new build homes is a lack of ‘soul’ or ‘identity’. This is often more profound for large regeneration schemes where master planners are required. Ballymore have a proud history of picking up “placemaking” awards and they’ve done it again at LCI.
Without this level of placemaking we couldn't see London City Island collecting the London Planning Award for Best New Place to Live in 2017. It begs the questions ‘What makes for a great place to live?’. Historically, the most popular parts of London are safe, they have access to green spaces, the transport connections are strong, residents can look after their wellbeing with access to gyms and fitness centres, the everyday essentials are only a short walk away, there’s often a strong sense of community and all of this is on the backdrop of vibrancy and energy. London City Island has achieved all of these. The English National Ballet provides the energy, the estate management provides the security, the residents fitness centre provides the wellbeing, ‘The Grocer’ supplies the essentials (as well as Sainsbury's) and if living on an island doesn’t produce a sense of community spirt, we don’t know what will. Extensive landscaping by Camlins provides greenery and the natural wrap around creek gives residents a tranquil setting. If a paraglider landed in ‘Botanic Square’ (the name given to the beautifully landscaped garden square at the heart of LGI) they would never guess their just 2 stops from Canary Wharf from Canning Town Station - a short 200m walk from the north edge of the development.
London City Island then went on to pick up the London Evening Standards Award for Best Regeneration Project. It's not easy to find another regeneration project that encompasses an entire island! Lead architect Glenn Howells Architects were heavily influence by the sites past - manufacturing & industry – were the language of buildings was regularly marked with simple buildings; square and linear. This industrial feel is the foundation of design at London City Island which brings over 1700 new homes to London. The most interesting new build developments are those that root themselves in the history of the area / site they find themselves in. Afterall everyone enjoys a story and narratives in residential design and regeneration are no different.
Last but by no means least LCI picked up the 'big one' - Resi Award for Development of the Year in 2017.
For the positives already mentioned have we missed anything? The views. LCI is surrounded by water, dotted with garden squares, close to the River Thames, opposite the O2 (formally the Millennium Dome) and two stops form Canary Wharf – if you’re attracted to powerful views – water, landmarks or garden squares – London City Island will have it.
Read what the architects have to say:
Ten residential buildings sit alongside the new HQ for the English National Ballet, offices, retail, and leisure facilities to create a collage of strong forms, amplified by bold brick colours, which have a striking and changing appearance when viewed from different locations across the water.
We started looking at the project during the 2008 recession, and the brief was to rethink the project from first principles. The ambition was always to create a destination, a place with distinctive character, that was full of life and the result was a design that was not only cost-effective to build but one that provided affordable, interesting homes.
Over the last 200 years, the site and the surrounding Wharves have been a focus for making and industry, this has created a distinct language of simple building forms with regularly punctuated facades. It is this industrial aesthetic that has influenced the clear language of the buildings on the Island.
The success of the project is down to several factors including an amazing site, a brave and ambitious client, a diverse design team and brilliant prefabrication and construction, perhaps the most important factor has been the life that has landed on this Island and given it such fierce and proud identity. So much so, that the people who live and work there call themselves “Islanders”.
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