A joint venture between London Square and Peabody has secured planning permission from the London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC) for a co-location development on an underutilised industrial site in Stratford, known as Vulcan Wharf. The scheme will provide 457 new homes, a last-mile logistics distribution hub, makerspaces and extensive public realm improvements, including a new public space at the confluence of the River Lea and Bow Back
Assael Architecture and Metropolitan Workshop worked in collaboration, with DP9 advising on planning, to turn the two adjacent plots, located at the edge of the emerging Pudding Mill neighbourhood, into one cohesive development.
The mix of employment and residential use fulfils the aspirations of the Pudding Mill SPD for the site, and with the LLDC endorsing the site’s ‘exemplary’ architectural quality, the development provides a clear illustration of how to design a scheme which harmoniously co-locates industrial and residential use, creating jobs and much needed new homes.
The development, which will consist of six buildings, includes 35% affordable housing, distributed across three of the buildings, with a policy-compliant tenure split of 60% of London affordable rent and 40% shared ownership. The homes will be a mix of studio, one-bedroom, two-bedroom and three-bedroom properties with a large proportion of the three-bedroom homes provided within the London affordable rent provision.
Flexibility is at the heart of the design and the incorporation of makerspaces reflects the growing need for alternative but collaborative workspaces. The last-mile logistics space – an essential part of delivering goods to front doors – will become more important in light of changing retail trends this year, and is also designed to meet future operator needs. Last mile logistics is an emerging typology, offering delivery and service operators a more efficient and sustainable way of meeting the need of customers within a local area; this is achieved through the creation of smaller hubs located within the community, rather than large out of town distribution centres.
The larger V2 site has been designed by Assael Architecture and provides the majority of the residential and industrial employment space. Five residential buildings sit above 95,000 sq ft of light industrial and employment space that forms a two-storey plinth. This plinth is lined by makerspaces, providing an active frontage along all sides. The residential buildings are connected at podium level by an extensive communal amenity space, accessible to all residents. This space has been divided in to a series of interconnected residential courtyards that include play spaces, gardens and allotments.
The V1 site, designed by Metropolitan Workshop, consists of a single sentinel building at the eastern end of Vulcan Wharf, along Cook’s Road and the Bow Back River. Comprising a two-storey mixed-use plinth, it will accommodate light industrial employment use, as well as food and beverage space, with private residential homes above.
Assael and Metropolitan Workshop worked closely together to create a cohesive design inspired by the site’s industrial heritage. The red brick, pink precast concrete panels and metal panelling draw on the aesthetic that once dominated the wider Pudding Mill area, while an overarching theme of corrugation connects the two plots, enabling them to be read as a collection of buildings but with coordinated differences.
The proposals also embrace sustainable technology through connections to the Olympic Park District Heat Network, extensive rooftop PVs, a site-wide carbon reduction of 54%, and a commitment to targeting operators of the B8 space that use an electric vehicle delivery fleet.
Tying together both plots, the enhanced public realm, designed by Assael Exteriors, includes improvements to Cook’s Road and new routes and improved and widened river walks that link the riverfront and the wider Pudding Mill Island to the north. A new public open space at the confluence of the two rivers activates the waterside and enables the public to walk along this stretch of water for the very first time.
Mark Smith, Development Director at London Square, says: ‘We are delighted to secure permission for what is a challenging yet exceptional opportunity, and we are looking forward to commencing on site next year. The consent is the result of collaborative discussions with Planning Officers, the LLDC Quality Review Panel, the GLA and the community, and the design team should be commended’
Hannah Edlmann, Senior Development Manager at Peabody, says: ‘The team is committed to delivering a cohesive, sustainable and inclusive community through the high-quality design and management services. We are looking forward to partnering with London Square and are excited to deliver much needed affordable housing in the London Borough of Newham.’
Pete Ladhams, Managing Director at Assael Architecture says: ‘We are extremely proud that our scheme has been endorsed as an exemplary model for the co-location of last mile distribution alongside residential homes. Working alongside Metropolitan Workshop, we have designed a cohesive development that builds on the unique location at the confluence of two rivers and accords with the Pudding Mill SPD.’
CGIs © SecchiSmith and Assael Architecture