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Rogers out, Farrell in at Wood Wharf

Terry Farrell has been appointed to take over the masterplanning of Wood Wharf on the Isle of Dogs, East London from Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners (RSHP)

In January project backer the Canary Wharf Group bagged the full rights to develop the 8 hectare Docklands site from previous joint venture partners Canal and River Trust and Ballymore and now wants to revise the original plans in a bid to ‘attract a broader mix of future tenants’.

RSHP’s initial proposals for a 454,000m² mixed-use, high-rise project featuring 1,400-homes hit the headlines in September 2008 after CABE claimed that the development would create a ‘ghetto’ due to the amount of affordable housing planned for the eastern end of the plot (AJ 30.09.2008).

Richard Rogers’ practice hit back stating that the comments were out of date and that the £2 billion scheme (pictured), which the firm had been working on since 2005 (AJ 15.07.2005), has moved forward considerably following detailed discussions with officers at the London Borough of Tower Hamlets.’

However, though outline approval was secured, the plot remains undeveloped.

Terry Farrell and Partners were appointed to work on the masterplan following an international competition in early 2012 and more architects will be commissioned for individual buildings.

Consultation on the new masterplan is set to begin this autumn with an application for a new outline planning permission expected to be submitted in spring 2013.

The Canary Wharf Group is waning to develop the scheme over 10-12 years with the first phase commencing in 2014 and completing in time for Crossrail trains running through Canary Wharf from 2018.

As well as offices, homes, shops and space for ’ growing firms in the creative media, technology and telecommunications sectors’, the new scheme will also include ‘new waterside parks and European style-streets and squares’.

According to a spokesman for the client the the density of the project ‘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 such as space for start up companies, pop-up restaurants and cafés, street markets and performance spaces.

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.’

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