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Bouygues: 'We're looking to appoint architects at Canning Town'

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Deputy MD of Bouygues Development, Richard Fagg on its 1,100 home Hallsville Quarter scheme

Describe the Canning Town scheme and your role on the project.

Hallsville Quarter is one of a number of regeneration projects Bouygues Development is undertaking up and down the country. It is our largest and most complex scheme, situated directly opposite Canning Town station and forming part of the £3.7 billion Canning Town and Custom House Regeneration Programme. Over five phases and across an area measuring six hectares, we are developing more than 1,100 homes with a variety of tenures, in excess of 323,000 sq ft of leisure and retail space, and community facilities. New pedestrian links and facilities for cyclists are also included, as well as 1,100 secure parking spaces. The whole Hallsville Quarter scheme is scheduled to be completed by 2024.

The first phase, including 179 private and affordable homes set around a private shared 70,000 sq ft courtyard garden (three quarters the size of a football pitch), a Morrisons supermarket, an additional retail unit, and more than 400 car parking spaces, has recently been completed. Construction is now underway on Phase 2, which will deliver a new pedestrianised thoroughfare with retail and restaurant units and a hotel, as well as landmark residential towers delivering 349 new homes with a range of tenures. Additional public spaces, car parking for around 300 cars and cycling facilities will also be included. 

What makes Hallsville Quarter different from many of the other schemes currently underway in London is that it is the creation of a new town centre in London with a focus on the existing community. This is not just a residential development in isolation of its surroundings with a small element of ancillary retail, but rather a significant, truly mixed-use development. We are working closely with our partners, the London Borough of Newham, to create new spaces that link in to existing facilities and improve Canning Town for the people who already live and work there, as well as attracting new residents, tenants and investment to the area. The retail offering, public areas and community facilities, as well as the mix of residential tenures, mean that the development offers something for everyone.

What are the biggest challenges and how can design help solve them?

A project of this scale is always going to present challenges. Each phase of the scheme needs to be independently viable, yet integrate seamlessly with each of the other phases, as well as with the existing area around Canning Town. The project also has an important role in raising the prevailing standard of design quality, to make Hallsville Quarter a destination of choice – to live, work and stay. High standards of design quality will drive desirability and, in turn, value and continue the transformation of Canning Town and specifically the emergence of Hallsville Quarter as a new town centre and residential district.

A major challenge in the masterplan was also incorporating all the different types of residential accommodation - including private for sale, PRS, affordable shared ownership and affordable rented homes - not to mention elements such as retail and restaurant units, a supermarket, a hotel, car parking, and community and public facilities into one coherent development where businesses, owner-occupiers and tenants can coexist harmoniously.

These challenges have been met through intelligent and well considered designs and layouts, as well as the choice of materials, which is consistent across the homes, regardless of tenure.

Which architects are you currently working with?

AECOM Design and Planning and Haworth Tompkins did initial work on the masterplan.

Haworth Tompkins was the architect for the first phase of Hallsville Quarter.

The second phase of Hallsville Quarter, for which construction is currently underway, has been designed by John McAslan + Partners, Hunters and Associated Architects.

Landscape Projects are the landscape architects for the scheme. 

What future opportunities will there be for architects and what advice would you give an architect seeking to work with you?

We will be looking to appoint architects for future phases of the scheme. We look to work with the best quality consultants in the industry and will be seeking firms that not only understand this particular area and its challenges, but also have experience of designing successful urban regeneration projects and know how to work with developers to create value, through exceptional mixed-use projects that fit their context and function successfully in diverse communities. We are also working on numerous other projects across the country where there are opportunities for architects.

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