London’s latest creative quarter emerges at Sugar House Island

Nick Myall
Thursday 03 May 2018

Developer Vastint UK and Waugh Thistleton Architects have unveiled plans for a vibrant creative quarter at Three Mills, next to Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in east London

The new workspace quarter, called Dane’s Yard, forms the first phase of the wider Sugar House Island mixed-use development, which will ultimately deliver 624,000 sq ft of office space and 1,200 homes, as well as gardens, courtyards, a riverside park, restaurants, cafes, retail and a hotel, across as 26-acre site bounded by water, masterplanned by ARC-ML and delivered by Vastint UK.

Dane’s Yard comprises 88,000 sq ft of workspace across eight buildings tailored to the creative industries, along with retail units. Award-winning practice Waugh Thistleton Architects has been based in Shoreditch since the late 1990s, playing a pivotal role in the transformation of the area into a creative neighbourhood, and has applied its insight and understanding of the mechanisms of that transformation to the design of Dane’s Yard.

Vastint UK said: “We are incredibly excited to launch our plans for Dane’s Yard, the first phase of the Sugar House Island development. Standing at the confluence of the rivers that powered east London and served the city for many years, Sugar House Island has nearly a thousand years’ heritage as a place of innovation and manufacturing.

“Dane’s Yard draws on that heritage to create a vibrant new home for the dynamic businesses that are driving London’s creative economy. As the first sector of Sugar House Island to complete, Dane’s Yard will establish the area’s identity and incubate the new community as it grows over the coming years.”

Andrew Waugh, founding partner, Waugh Thistleton Architects, said: “It is a fantastic challenge to build a creative quarter from the ground up and drawing on our experience as a pivotal player in the Shoreditch renaissance, we have worked with Vastint UK to create an architecture and public domain that will enable the rapid growth of a creative community.

“Crucially, this mixes existing buildings with new, recreating historical street patterns and opening up opportunities for innovation and placemaking. The seven buildings form an ecosystem of office space, with each offering something different, from a large open plan space with a sawtooth roof to a seven-storey office block. The diversity of spaces has been conceived to attract a vibrant mix of companies.”

Located at Three Mills, Sugar House Island is ideally placed to attract a diverse community of creative businesses. The site is close to the open green spaces of the Olympic Park and the transport hub at Stratford, and is next to Three Mills Studios, home to a range of film and TV productions, including the latest Wes Anderson film Isle of Dogs as well as old-time favourite Masterchef.

Commercial rents will reflect local area prices, starting at £30 per sq ft according to the type of space. Offices will range from small, individual workshops through to more formal spaces.

Construction of Dane’s Yard, which is a mix of new build and refurbished heritage buildings, is well underway, with the first offices available for occupation before the end of 2018. Three of the buildings feature engineered timber construction and have been developed using the latest off-site manufacturing technology.

Colliers International and JLL are the letting agents for Dane’s Yard. 

Nick Myall

News editor

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