London mayor Boris Johnson has announced plans for a ‘Stilt City’ in the Royal Docks at MIPIM in a bid to drum up developer-investors
Johnson calls for architects to come up with ‘spectacular designs’ for the Ian Ritchie Architects’ ‘floating village’ masterplan
Described as ‘London’s answer to Venice’, the six hectare ‘blue field’ development would include 500 to 800 homes, leisure facilities, retail, hotels and workspaces suspended ‘on stilts’ above the disused waterways.
Speaking at MIPIM, Johnson called on developers and architects to come up with a ‘spectacular designs’ for the site.
A detailed brief will be released by the Royal Docks Management Authority (RoDMA) in four to six weeks which will outline in detail the ‘bite-sized’ 4km development sites available to developers.
According to Mike Luddy, managing director of RoDMA, an organisation funded by Docks’ landowners, Excel-owner Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Company and the GLA, the development brief has been prepared with Ian Ritchie Architects and Gardiner & Theobald.
Luddy said: ‘It will be a unique way of living. It’s a huge expanse of water - 4ha - and we’ve done a lot of research into building structures on water, such as Ijburg in Amsterdam.’
Luddy confirmed the project was on the site of the Meanwhile London competition-winning ‘floating village’ scheme by Studio Egret West. ‘There was a floating village to be built there, but we couldn’t make it happen. This is totally different, it is a larger scale scheme.’
The Royal Docks site, Silvertown Quays and Canning Town is home to a number of upcoming and recent developments. The Cable Car by Wilkinson Eyre is nearby, as well as the Siemens’ Crystal.
Ash Sakula’s Caravanserai is also located nearby, also a winner of the controversial Meanwhile London scheme, which was criticised for its lack of seed funds for winning projects.
Johnson said: ‘This site is unique. It has the potential to become one of the most sought after addresses in the capital while breathing new life back into London’s waterways.’
‘If you want to float an idea, after all it is a floating village, here’s your chance to build some snazzy homes in that miserable lagoon’ said Johnson.
‘Keep an eye on the Royal Docks and Silvertown area, because the ripples of investment brought in by the Olympics will be felt here,’ said Clive Pane, head of planning and development at Deloitte Real Estate, during a talk on legacy at MIPIM yesterday (12 March).
A developer-led competition will be launched in the summer.