48-storeys, Cubitt Town
Designed by Make Architects, 225 Marsh Wall — rebranded Halcyon London in early 2021 — is a high-rise residential tower under development to the south-east of the Canary Wharf estate in Cubitt Town.
The Neighbouring tower, The Madison, currently stands alone as the tallest tower in this northeastern section of the Isle of Dogs, however this is set to change. At 48-storeys, the sister tower to the Madison development, 225 Marsh Wall, will be at least 100 m taller than surrounding buildings of Cubitt Town.
Together the two towers will provide 750 homes for the area — and a significant proportion of affordable homes in Canary Wharf.
225 Marsh Wall — site overview
Previously the site of the Innovation Centre, this site on Marsh Wall was a 4-storey office building constructed in 1989 — described by planning commissioners as, of limited architectural merit.
While the majority of development of the Isle of Dogs remained in the central portion, The Madison and this sister site has begun to drive development further east. The small 0.3 hectare site sits within the South Quay Masterplan area — an area earmarked for high-rise development within Tower Hamlets — and extensive renovation for the immediate surroundings is likely to continue in the coming years.
Halycon London, 225 Marsh Wall, London, E14 9FW
- Easy access to the DLR is found at South Quay DLR station, around 5-10 minutes walk west along Marsh Wall.
- Access to the Canary Wharf estate by foot has improved with the development of Wood Wharf, providing a second access route.
- With the introduction of a new footbridge crossing at South Quay Plaza in 2022, this will be further improved, meaning access to the Jubilee line station will be around 10 minutes.
- Situated adjacent to the main east-west road across the peninsula, the 225 Marsh Wall site is one of the easier new developments to access by car. However, in conjunction with Tower Hamlets policies it will be a car-free development with only blue badge parking
Chalegrove properties — Updated plans
In 2018 planning permission for the LBS development was approved on appeal by Tower Hamlets. LBS Properties had commission Make Architects to design the tower, and this is the currently accepted proposal.
October 2018 planning permission was granted for a 48-storey building providing 332 homes, along with 810 square metres of space for community use and 79 square metres of flexible retail/restaurant/community usePlanning Appeal — Tower Hamlets
In 2020, the 225 Marsh Wall site was bought from LBS by Chalegrove properties. Chalegrove are a prolific Isle of Dogs developer, having previously completed popular schemes such as Landmark East and West and currently completing the tallest residential tower in Europe — Landmark Pinnacle.
With this change of ownership, came a desire to update the plans for the site. This was actually a step back towards the original scheme, which had The Madison and Halcyon London as sister towers of identical heights, at either end and looking out across a shared communal park.
The minor amendments to Halcyon Tower are a simple stretch and ground floor amenities reshuffling, so construction began in 2020 while the final height of the tower is up for debate.
The material look of the tower won’t change significantly if the amendment to the plans are accepted or not.
The new proposals have an additional 7-storeys added, to take the tower to the same height as sister tower, The Madison.
The plans for 332 residential units were based around 1, 2, 3 — and unusually — some 4 bed units. 225 Marsh Wall would stand at 48-storeys or 163 meters.
The update plans increase the building’s height inline with The Madison, to 55-storeys — 186 meters — and provide an additional 56 homes for a total of 388 residential units.
- Demolition of the previous industrial buildings began on the estate in 2020, with pilings beginning in December 2020.
- The revised planning permission for the tower is forecast to have little effect on overall timescales as construction is progressing in parallel to the appeal.
- Therefore, completion dates for the 225 Marsh Wall site are forecast to remain similar. Halcyon tower is set to complete in 2024.
Halcyon London — A new design
The 225 Marsh Wall site was branded Halcyon London at the start of 2021, with an updated plan currently under review.
This revised plan is a simple stretch of the original by Make Architects, a firm that have gained popularity in the area. The internationally acclaimed firm have designed the interiors to 10 Park Drive for the Canary Wharf Group’s Wood Wharf development immediately north, and the entirety of sister tower, The Madison.
The striking art-deco style tower sits on top of a 2-storey podium. This provides an expansive residents terrace area, alongside all weather children’s play facilities inside, looking out across the landscaped area. The sleek modern design provides every apartment with a private balcony, and ensures all apartments are dual aspect to maximise light.
The £230 m development provides residents amenities on the 2nd and 46th floors. The 46th floor is set to be a dedicated amenities floor for the private apartments. This will include, a lounge, cinema, gym and outdoor terraces. There is also 80 square meters dedicated for a retail unit on the ground floor.
Key features of 225 Marsh Wall
Interestingly, one of the reasons the original planning permission in 2016 was rejected, was due to the provision of too many studio flats!
Dubbed, homes for singles, Tower Hamlets council’s director of development ruled that plans for 221 studio and one-bedroom flats wouldn’t provide sufficient family homes in the area.
As a result, the current approved plans — and future amendments — both include zero studio flats, something the area arguably has a glut of.
While 3-bedroom flats are the largest on the open market for sale, there are 4-bedroom family homes as part of the affordable housing section. These 4-bedroom units are just under 1,300 square foot, with two double bedrooms, a twin and a single, providing space for 6-person families.
We hope to make the application before Christmas. If this happens, Tower Hamlets will formally register this over the Christmas/New Year period and then launch their consultation early next year with a view to a decision in the spring.
Sister development, The Madison, had a high proportion of affordable homes for the area — providing 104 new homes. Affordable homes are desperately needed as Tower Hamlets struggle to hit their targets, with over 20,000 outstanding applications on the current housing register.
Affordable housing unit breakdown for the currently accepted plans at 225 Marsh Wall
The current approved plans, for the 48-storey tower, provide 71 affordable housing units, and were part of the reason that the planning permission was granted by Tower Hamlets council on appeal.
The updated plans for the site involve an additional 18 affordable homes, alongside increased S106 payments. These are financial payments directly to Tower Hamlets council that go towards additional community services, such as public transport, affordable housing and local area infrastructure.
Family community space
This development has been described as bookending the neighbouring development The Madison.
This has been achieved by creating a new public space, with The Madison at one end having a park to it’s eastern side and Halcyon Tower at the other with a park at it’s western side. As a result of the redevelopment of both sites, an outdoor children’s play area and gardens has been created, and both developments landscaping will be linked together.
This will add additional greenery to the area, and improve north-south access to the waterfront.
In total, 58% of the 0.3 Hectare site has been dedicated to public space —an impressive amount for the relatively tight 225 Marsh Wall plot.
With a focus on family sized homes, the developers of Halcyon Tower have also included several children’s play areas. On the 2nd floor of the 2-storey podium, in indoor residents amenities and children’s play area will be provided. This podium also allows for an expansive resident’s terrace looking out across the new public space.
Make Architects earmarked the 402 square meter amenities space within the building’s podium for use as a possible community centre or nursery, however concrete plans have yet to be finalised.
Halcyon tower — Summary
The art-deco style development will make a positive contribution to the area regardless of its planned 48-storey, or potential 55-storey, height.
Interestingly designed, and a significant improvement on the previous late 80s office buildings, the 225 Marsh Wall site will provide new outdoor space and much needed family facilities to this area of the Isle of Dogs.
Previously neglected in the wide scale regeneration of the central South Quay area, the park between The Madison and Halcyon is a key part of opening up the area, and encouraging more interaction with South Dock.
Not only does the Halcyon development provide 70+ much needed affordable homes, it is also set to bring more green space to the heavily industrialized area, and an interesting design that stands out among blander corporate-looking skyscrapers.