Canary Wharf Group hires Terry Farrell for Wood Wharf masterplan

By James Buckley - Friday, September 14, 2012 9:26

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Canary Wharf Group has appointed architect Terry Farrell and Partners to create a new masterplan for Wood Wharf, one of central London’s largest future development sites.

The group is revising the masterplan for the Wood Wharf site to cater for evolving market requirements.

Canary said the new office, residential and retail development aims to attract a broader mix of future tenants, including growing firms in the creative media, technology and telecommunications sectors, building on the success of adjacent Canary Wharf and the Tech City cluster.

Canary Wharf Group acquired the full rights to develop the site in January this year from previous joint venture partners Canal and River Trust (previously British Waterways) and Ballymore. The 20-acre site, which is immediately east of Canary Wharf, has outline planning approval for 4.7m sq ft of mixed use office, retail and residential space, about one third of the size of the existing Canary Wharf estate.

The new Wood Wharf masterplan will be designed to improve integration with the surrounding residential community; provide flexible, bespoke office space for the dynamic business growth sectors in London and create unique cultural and retail amenities that will add to the East End’s reputation as the creative heart of London.

The design brief will also call for new waterside parks, European style-streets and squares as well as environmentally sustainable buildings. Overall density is likely to be similar to the currently consented masterplan, with an increased proportion of residential space, catering for increased demand for people to live close to their workplace.

Ahead of development, the group is looking at a range of temporary uses for Wood Wharf and has already installed temporary waterside parks and landscaping. These could include work space for start up companies, pop-up restaurants and cafés, street markets and performance spaces. The site hosted several of the world’s largest super yachts during the London 2012 games, which attracted thousands of visitors.

Sir George Iacobescu, chairman and chief executive of Canary Wharf Group, said: “We are very pleased to welcome Terry Farrell and Partners on to the team to develop the design for Wood Wharf. The successful development of this site will be another massive piece added to the East End’s regeneration jigsaw.

“We can help London’s digital economy continue to thrive by providing growing businesses with bespoke office space and amenities, in close proximity to excellent transport, talent, clients and capital. The development of Wood Wharf will enhance London’s reputation as a business, lifestyle and cultural capital and further shift the City’s centre of gravity eastwards.”

Sir Terry Farrell, principal of Farrells said: “With the huge success of the Olympics and the rapidly expanding Tech City, this part of London is now much more than a global financial centre. What has emerged is an exciting cultural and lifestyle district that is attracting the world’s creative and technology companies.

“Wood Wharf is a rare opportunity to create a new and vibrant mixed use place that responds to its context and draws on other successful parts of this great metropolis.”

Farrells was appointed following an international competition in early 2012. Additional architects for individual buildings will be appointed in due course, as the masterplan progresses.

Consultation for the new masterplan will begin in autumn 2012, with an application for a new outline planning permission expected to be submitted in spring 2013.

It is expected the scheme will be developed in phases over 10-12 years with the first phase commencing in 2014. It is anticipated that part of the development will be open in time for Crossrail trains running through Canary Wharf from 2018.

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