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FIRST LOOK

GRID completes 29,000m² build-to-rent scheme in Canary Wharf

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10 George Street, developed by Canary Wharf Group’s rental arm, Vertus, provides 327 homes, new retail spaces and shared amenities

The scheme, designed by GRID architects, is part of the Wood Wharf masterplan, the first of three planned build-to-rent developments.

Fronting onto Canary Wharf’s South Dock, the building is designed to read as two distinct elements – podium and tower. The podium’s natural stone cladding with expressed joints is intended to create a sense of scale to the water’s edge, while the tower’s palette of warm bronze metal panels and large areas of glazing is designed to distinguish it from its neighbours.

While the façade overlooking the quay is given a relatively simple treatment of ‘punched holes’ clad in dark bronzed metals, on the east and west elevations an undulating arrangement of protruding balconies are designed to create a ribbon-like wave motif. 

(c)tcrocker georgest03

(c)tcrocker georgest03

Source: Tim Crocker

As well as residents’ lounges and amenity spaces, the building also incorporates a number of guest suites for residents who wish to have guests stay over.

Within 29,315m² of floor space, the building caters for a wide variety of dwelling sizes, all meeting or exceeding the LHDG Space Standards, with south-facing suites, one-bed flats facing east or west and larger family dwellings located towards the edge of each floorplate.

The scheme used high levels of prefabrication in its build, incorporates heat recovery and grey water recovery systems and has energy supplied via a district heating and cooling system and additionally from onsite PVs.  

(c)tcrocker georgest01

(c)tcrocker georgest01

Source: Tim Crocker

Architect’s view

We have have used a ribbon-like wave motif across the scheme – at ground level this is visible in a large, hand-set stone element adjacent to the entrance. From the second floor upwards the tower utilises repetition to create formal cohesion, with a simple concept of punched holes clad in dark, bronzed metals.

On the east and west façades, repetition reintroduces the ribbon motif, with protruding balconies designed with a singular continuous metal fascia emphasising the additive construction of the façades. Providing opportunities for delight and variety, residents have access to a number of communal amenity spaces in addition to their private terraces and balconies. A residents’ lounge and a terrace are located on the first floor and on the sixth-floor residents have access to a roof terrace that provides panoramic views.

There is a natural visual link established between the green spaces at the upper levels and the landscaping that surrounds the ground floor. With an open-ended lobby on the ground floor, planting threads through the main lobby space and leads out into South Dock Park and the public green spaces on neighbouring sites, intended to enrich the connection between the park and quayside.

(c)tcrocker georgest010

(c)tcrocker georgest010

Source: Tim Crocker

Throughout the scheme a fabric-first approach has been taken, characterised by solid elements with low U-values. The built envelope limits air permeability and prevents heat loss while air controls and apartment ventilation with heat recovery systems to extract and re-cycle heat from outgoing air. 10 George Street also has low-flow sanitary fittings, with grey water collected onsite for reuse.

The design capitalised on Modern Methods of Construction, including; prefabricated risers, bathroom pods and unitised cladding. By limiting the number of apartment types efficiencies were created during the construction programme, with a number of elements repeated across the scheme. This approach meant that the building was completed ahead of programme with a better-than-expected on-site carbon emissions performance.

Reducing the local dependence on the national grid, energy for the buildings is supplied via the site-wide district heating and cooling network and an onsite PV array helps to generate additional energy to meet residual demand.

Laurence Osborne, director, GRID

Wood wharf typical plan

Wood wharf typical plan

Source: GRID architects

Typical floor plan

Client’s view

As the first build to rent building on the Canary Wharf estate, it was very important for us to ensure that 10 George Street was of an exceptional spec and complemented our aspirations for Wood Wharf, Canary Wharf’s new mixed-use district. GRID architects ensured that the building exemplified the Vertus brand. GRID’s experience in residential design has ensured that we have created a space future residents will enjoy, with generously sized apartments, each with a balcony view over the waterfront and well programmed residents’ amenities, such as the lounge and dining area.

Alastair Mullens, head of Vertus

Wood wharf section 2

Wood wharf section 2

Source: GRID architects

Section

Project data 

Start on site July 2016
Completion date December 2019
Gross internal floor area 29,315m²
Form of contract or procurement route Management contract
Construction cost Undisclosed
Architect GRID architects
Masterplan architect Allies and Morrison 
Client Vertus Development Company
QS Canary Wharf Group
Project manager Canary Wharf Contractors
Structural engineers Thornton Tomasetti
Environmental/M&E Troup, Bywater & Anders
Lighting design Studio Fractal
Planning consultant GVA
CDM coordinator Brookfield Multiplex
Approved Building Inspector London Borough of Tower Hamlets
Main contractor Canary Wharf Contractors

Environmental performance data

On-site energy generation 512.25 kWh/yr
Annual mains water consumption 38,325 m³/occupant
Airtightness at 50Pa 2.50 m³/h.m²
Heating and hot water load 38.32 kWh/m²K
Annual CO2 emissions 30.12 kg/m²/yr

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