Setting sail for Wapping

Nick Myall
Wednesday 26 Apr 2017

This new residential development in London was inspired by the iron cranes and winches that provided an interface between the docks edge and the brick warehouses

Architect Patel Taylor and St George have completed the first new building at London Dock, the redevelopment of the famous former News International site in Wapping.

Clipper Wharf, a 57 homes residential development comprising of one, two and three bedroom apartments, is part of the first phase of the 220,000 sq m regeneration. This marks a new chapter in the site’s colourful history from its origins as a mercantile centre through the era of newspapers and printing of 1980s and beyond.

Patel Taylor was appointed by developer St George to design the masterplan, the Phase 1 buildings and the landscape for the prestigious new development, which takes inspiration from the site’s dockland heritage.  

Clipper Wharf is located at the head of the new public space of Gauging Square. Conceived as a jewel-like, contemporary addition to the nearby Grade II listed Pennington Street warehouse, its eight-storey design is informed by the strong east-west axis set up by this 350 m long building. 

The new development’s axial podium frame extends the linearity of the warehouse while its glazed tower addresses aspects to the north and south. These principal facades are characterised by faceted glazing and anodized aluminium balconies that create a rich composition of varied angles, reflections and depth.

Each façade is enclosed within a ‘picture frame’ of bronze-coloured, anodized aluminium cladding. Balcony soffits are coloured a contrasting white to give a crisp edge to the balcony fronts and provide reflected light into the residential accommodation. The high quality of materials and detailing helps create a sense of robust permanence in keeping with the dockside setting.

Clipper Wharf will be followed by the completion of two more Patel Taylor-designed apartment buildings at Gauging Square - Admiral Wharf and Alexander Wharf.

Occupying half of the site will be a series of public gardens, developed by Patel Taylor in collaboration with French landscape architect Allain Provost.

Andrew Taylor of Patel Taylor said of project: “The building was conceptually developed as a complement to the permanent dockside architecture; a piece of ancillary design inspired by the iron cranes and winches that provided an interface between the docks edge and the brick warehouses.”


Nick Myall

News editor

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