31-storeys — Isle of Dogs
Overview of the development
Lincoln Plaza is a Galliard development of 546 apartments throughout an interesting, multi-use building.
Originally known as Indescon Court phase 2, Lincoln Plaza is the second installation of homes on the Indescon court site, which totals a massive 910 apartments, 6 commercial units and a Hilton Curio Collection hotel.
Like Galliards Harbour Central site opposite, the Indescon Court development is a sprawling large scale redevelopment site encompassing multiple buildings.
Lincoln Plaza has a main tower, Talisman (previously known as Franklin) that stands 95m tall at 31-storeys. A key feature of this tower is that the 22nd through to 24th floors have a triple-height residents sky garden.
The second tower, Duckman, stands at 22-storeys. This houses entranceways to some residential units and also the Hilton Hotel reception area, both at ground level. Both of these towers are linked by a central 15 storey building, housing a double height reception for the residential towers.
First proposed in 2013, this second stage of the Indescon Court development completed in late 2015, with the first residents moving in during mid 2016.
The Hilton group decided to base the first Curio Collection Hotel in Europe in the building in early 2015, with the hotel opening its doors in January 2019.
The area has undergone extensive regeneration in the last decade. A 10-15 minute walk south from the financial center of Canary Wharf, Lincoln Plaza finds itself surrounded on all four sides by redeveloped plots.
To the immediate north, Maine Tower and to the west Indescon Court, are both large residential complexes by the same developer, Galliard.
For this reason, the location of Lincoln Plaza is quite a contrast to the bustling center of Canary Wharf and has a quieter residential feel about it. As the second phase of Indescon Court, it benefits from the more mature landscaping and central grass area of the first phase immediately to its west.
South Quay DLR is less than 5 minutes walk to the north, with Canary Wharf tube station around 10-15 minutes walk.
For those driving, there are a bank of electric car charging points immediate in front of the hotel, alongside car parking in the underground car park.
This car parking is shared between the hotel, restaurant and residents of Lincoln Plaza, so is limited and available at a significant extra cost.
The development has a spacious vaulted lobby, with seating areas and a 24 hour concierge for residents. The cinema is on the first floor, and dotted throughout the building there is a business center, a small library, and a children’s play area.
At the top of the 22nd-storey Duckman tower, there is a residents roof terrace, with seating areas and an outdoor gym.
There is a vaulted sky garden area in the tallest tower, and in the basement of the building a gym, swimming pool and spa.
Great value service charge
This building is loaded with amenities, including a modern gym with pool and spa, yet the service charge is significantly lower than comparable developments in the area. The reason for this is the partnership with the Hilton hotel brand.
The most expensive part to run of any developments amenities is usually the leisure centre, but here residents share the cost of this with the hotel. As a result, you get the large list of amenities from the development plus a small but well equipped gym, and a spa area suitable for a boutique hotel.
But the trade-off for partnering is that you pay less than £5 per square foot in service charge.
Launched as a new brand in 2014, Curio is a global set of remarkable upscale and luxury hotels hand-picked for their unique character and personalityHilton Hotel Group
The additional advantage to the partnership with the hotel, is that being at the more premium end of the Hilton brand, the facilities are well designed and staffed. Design of the 18m swimming pool, with LED lighting and polished concrete walls, was overseen by RPW design.
The shared leisure facilities offer a wide range of features often only found in residential developments in the ultra-luxury category. There is a managed reception area: personal training, classes, laundered towels and spa products in the changing areas.
Lots of communal space
Galliard have taken full advantage of the interesting shaped building and as a result there is lots of communal space scattered throughout:
- There is a smaller garden area and balcony overlooking Indescon Court on the 9th floor of Talisman Tower
- The middle building between the towers creates an additional residents rooftop area with planting and seating on the 15th floor
- On the top of the 22nd tower building there is yet another rooftop area, and the largest of the three. This includes seating space, an astroturfed area for stretching or children’s play, and an outside gym.
The real centerpiece of the development though is the residents sky garden. This glazed garden area spans half the width of the 31 storey Talisman Tower, and is triple-height, occupying the 22-24th floors.
As a result the area is spacious and light, with planting and seating areas. There is a smaller mezzanine platform accessed from the 24th floor, that houses a games area and looks down onto the garden.
One of the main downsides to high density urban living, is the lack of outside space and communal areas often found in low rise developments. Here the developer Galliard has really made an effort to maximise the amount of communal areas, and space for the residents outside of their flats, and it shows.
In its bilious cladding, chaotic form, adhesive balconies and frenzied facades, it exhibits the absolute worst in shambolic architectural design and cheap visual gimmickryIke Ijeh – Architect and critic
While I wouldn’t be quite as harsh as that write up from BD design, I think its fair to say the outside of the building is a bit marmite.
In 2016, the Lincoln Plaza development famously won the Carbuncle Cup, and was named the worst piece of modern architecture that year.
When picking the cladding for an interesting shaped building, geometric panels in varying shades of beige probably wouldn’t be my first choice. This is paired with lime green balconies.
What the designers were thinking is up for debate, but for balance, as Galliard pointed out in their response to winning the Carbuncle Cup, the development sold out and to this day remains one of the most popular developments in the area.
Lacks exclusivity of other developments
The partnership with Hilton Hotels is used to good effect to reduce the service charge for the residents.
However the fact that the building also houses a hotel and multiple restaurants, and that the leisure facilities and parking are shared between the guests and residents, may put some people off.
Equally, in comparison to some of the super-tall developments, or even Galliards other buildings in the area, the 31 storey Lincoln Plaza doesn’t make quite the same statement or have the same wow factor.
Lincoln Plaza is a luxury development, but it is not marketing itself at the highest end of the developments in the area, and this is reflected in lower prices than some of the Ballymore or Canary Wharf group developments.
Even amongst similar buildings from developer Galliard, it lacks the height and design of its art-deco styled neighbour Maine Tower, or the twisting Baltimore Tower situated just across Millwalls Inner dock.
While its fair to say that the exterior design of the building is not universally loved, there has obviously been a lot of thought into the planning of the interior and residents facilities. As a result Lincoln Plaza has an abundance of inside and outside spaces, and an amenities list to rival much more expensive developments.
Unlike some of the heavily marketed ultra-luxury developments in the area, Lincoln Plaza doesn’t have a commanding position with sweeping views, or a dazzling architectural design with record breaking heights.
However Lincoln Plaza does offer modern high-spec apartments, a short distance from Canary Wharf, and it punches well above its weight at its price point.
While it isn’t a glass-clad 40+ storey skyscraper, interestingly the homely feel Lincoln Plaza obtains from the sprawling layout and mass of residents spaces is something that the latest developments are eager to obtain. The Canary Wharf groups no-expense-spared building One Park Drive, is deliberately circular in an attempt to break away and distance itself from the rectilinear glass towers of the financial center.
Despite the Carbuncle Cup, it looks like Galliard were right and the development remains very popular. Overall, it looks like a great place to live.