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Major changes at Leamouth Peninsula as Howells takes charge

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Glenn Howells Architects (GHA) has ‘significantly’ changed Ballymore’s proposed Leamouth Peninsula development after taking over the reins of the huge east London scheme

The AJ has learned that former design team leader SOM, which has worked on various schemes for the 4.7ha brownfield site since 2005, is no longer involved in the £700million project.

John Pardey Architects and Jestico + Whiles, who worked alongside SOM and Glenn Howells as part of the team which drew up the detailed plans back in 2010 (see below), are also out of the picture.

However, it is understood the layout and massing has been kept from SOM’s masterplan for the 1,706 home, 165,000m2 development between the river Lea and the Thames – formerly home to the Pura Foods factory.

The more colourful designs for the island site – each of the five main buildings is a now different colour – have been drawn up by GHA following a marketing campaign which was launched in Hong Kong. The scheme has been rebranded London City Island.

Daniel Ringelstein, the director at SOM who succesfully took the masterplan through planning (see AJ 11.04.11), said that while it was always intended the scheme would be ‘delivered by a range of collaborating architects’ the ‘character of the architecture had changed considerably’.

He added: ‘The building design character, colours and material palette has significantly varied from that which was developed as part of the approved Design Code accompanying the masterplan, so we hope that as the project progresses over time the intent to deliver a visually cohesive development and urban form on the island site is followed.’

A director for GHA confirmed that ‘following a successful marketing campaign and global interest in the scheme’ the practice had been appointed with Chris Blandford Associates to deliver the initial phase of the landscape design and first two buildings of the masterplan.’

In addition, Arup Associates has been brought in to design the new marketing suite.

(Click here to see the plans)

Previous story (AJ 11.04.11)

SOM-led team wins planning for huge Leamouth Peninsula scheme

A team led by SOM has won planning permission for its reworked Leamouth Peninsula development, next to Canning Town in east London

The 1,706 home, 165,000m2 project on the 4.7ha brownfield site between the Lea River and the Thames has been designed with John Pardey Architects, Jestico + Whiles, Glenn Howells Architects and Lovejoys.

SOM had originally secured planning in 2007 for a slightly larger scheme. Backed by Clearstorm, a division of Ballymore Properties, the revised design ‘refines the previously approved plan for the peninsula’ and ‘responds to the maturing implications of the Olympic Legacy’.

Describing the scheme, a practice spokesman said: ‘The original three-dimentional form for the project, which remains primarily intact, came from the desire to take advantage of this peculiar site and landscape setting to create a unique urban environment. 

This condition required a bold new urban form

‘There is no three-dimensional urban form in the immediate area, just the bow in the River Lea and the network of surrounding roads and railway infrastructure, creating essentially an ‘island’ site. This condition required a bold new urban form, one which created its own urban context and a cohesive new urban identity.’ 

Previous story (AJ 12.11.10)

SOM submits revised Leamouth Peninsula plans

SOM has submitted revised plans for a 1,706 home, 185,000m2 development on the Leamouth Peninsula, next to Canning Town in east London

The practice received planning in 2007 for a slightly larger scheme on the 4.7ha brownfield site between the Lea River and the Thames – formerly home to the Pura Foods factory.

However developer Ballymore asked SOM to revise its original masterplan, including removing ‘parking podiums’, and brought in John Pardey Architects, Jestico + Whiles and Glenn Howells Architects to draw up detailed designs for the first phase of residential buildings, comprising 540 flats.

The wider plans include flexible offices, an arts centre, a community centre, educational use, restaurant and shops.

A proposed link from the peninsula over the rail tracks north of the river into Canning Town has been dropped because of financial and logistical issues. Although plans for a smaller footbridge across the Lea remain, CABE has attacked the decision to shelve the rail bridge, saying that without this ‘24-hour link’ it could ‘not support the application’.

Read the full CABE design review here.

Martha Schwartz who was originally working on the landscaping is no longer involved in the scheme. Landscape architects Lovejoys has replaced the practice on the ‘five to eight year project’ which is expected to go before the planning committee early next year (2011).

The architect’s view by Dan Ringelstein, director, SOM 

‘There is no three-dimensional urban form in the immediate area of our Leamouth Peninsula project, just the bow in the River Lea and the network of surrounding roads and railways. This creates an “island” site. This “condition” required a form that created its own urban context and a cohesive urban identity. Yet this form needed to be humanised by providing sheltered spaces and continuous waterfront promenades. The masterplan is a balancing act between natural and man-made landscapes, exposed and enclosed outdoor spaces, public and private amenities and the need for individuality as well as cohesion in its architecture. The 2010 version was the result of a candid review of the previously-approved 2007 scheme and responds to the maturing implications of the Olympic Legacy, including the need to deliver regeneration in the local area as quickly as possible. The refined plan is the result of effective design collaboration.’

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