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dRMM wins Royal Docks ‘floating village’

A consortium including architect dRMM has been picked to develop a mixed-use ‘floating village’ of 50 homes in east London’s Royal Docks.

London Mayor Boris Johnson confirmed that a joint venture between Carillion, Igloo and Genesis that includes the practice led by Alex de Rijke had won the design and build competition for the development.

Co-architect for the project Marlies Rhomer, who worked on a floating village at ljburg near Amsterdam, described the Dutch scheme as an inspiration for the London development.

Runner up to the Carillion Igloo Genesis consortium was a bid from Hadley Mace, featuring Baca Architects.

Earmarked  for a 6ha stretch of water near to the Emirates Airline cable car, the floating village plans include a ‘blue water square’, market square, a floating cornice, multi-purpose events space, and a mix of non-residential development including restaurants, cafes, shops and leisure and office space.

Additional facilities, such as a floating Lido and an ice rink, were also proposed as part of the bid.

Johnson said the development had the potential to become one of the most sought after addresses in the capital at the same time as ‘breathing new life back into London’s waterways’.

‘Carillion Igloo Genesis’ scheme will create a unique mixed use development providing a range of commercial activities within a high quality water environment for Londoners and visitors, creating jobs and raising the profile of London’s Royal Docks,’ he said.

Carillion Igloo Genesis director Chris Brown said the floating village would be a new attraction for east London.

‘Living in a floating home you’ve helped to design is a dream lots of us have,’ he said.

‘By combining the floating home experience of our Dutch collaborators with our custom built business we hope to make these dreams come true in Royal Victoria Dock for a few lucky Londoners.’

The Greater London Authority (GLA) said the winning proposal would be ‘100 per cent floating’, the walkways, residential and non-residential units anchored in place using a series of piles located within the dock and connected to the dock by bridges.

It said the floating water-homes woud use the same concrete foundations that are already in use at the Ijburg development in Holland, with construction of the homes and their bases carried out off-site.

The GLA said a planning application was likely to be submitted to Newham Council next spring.

However, the borough’s elected mayor Robin Wales warned that proposals that of the London Borough of Newham, where the Royal Docks are located, warned that the level of affordable housing proposed for the scheme was a cause for concern.

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