Activating London's waterways

Thursday 24 Jul 2014

'Floating village' competition at London's Royal Docks won by Carillion Igloo Genesis

A team headed by Carillion Igloo Genesis has won a competition to design and construct the first floating community in the UK, the Mayor of London Boris Johnson announced this week. Designed by dRMM with Buro Happold as scheme engineers, the development encompasses 50 residential units blended with commercial and retail amenities.

dRMM’s description of the development reads: “Our design is deliberately not an isolated ‘Village’ but a floating part of London. Our proposal seeks to demonstrate the potential of the site for (and beyond) the pilot scheme of 50 residential units, whilst integrating an urban mix of associated commercial, leisure, visitor attraction and cultural spaces.”

A ‘social sustainable community’ is at the core of the dRMM design, bringing jobs and activity to London’s waterfront. The 15-acre site is due to be transformed into a 100%-floating development, with all pedestrian routes and building structures anchored in place using piles located within the dock and connected to the land by bridges.

The winning scheme enables potential new residents to become involved in the design process through a custom-build approach. These houses will then be constructed off-site and floated into place on London’s waterways. Residents will also be able to enjoy a blue water square, framed by a market square and a floating corniche.

Director of Carillion Igloo Genesis Chris Brown said: “Living in a floating home you’ve helped to design is a dream lots of us have. By combining the floating home experience of our Dutch collaborators with our custom built business we hope to make these dreams come true in Royal Victoria Dock for a few lucky Londoners.”   

Baca Architects were runners-up in the competition with a proposal that centred on replicating the quintessential British village on water, including local shops, a village hall and a pub. The team - led by Hadley Mace - suggested an initial concept conceived as a ‘crown’ which could then be extended ‘along a watery “Champs-Élysées” boulevard’. 

Key Facts:

Urban design
United Kingdom

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