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Newfoundland Quay — Canary Wharf

newfoundland canary wharf


58-storeys — Canary Wharf

An introduction to Newfoundland

Sometimes known as ’the diamond tower’, Newfoundland Quay is a £250 million development commissioned by the Canary Wharf Group.

The 58-storey tower was designed by Mayfair based, Horden Cherry Lee architects (HCLA). The tower is one of the more interesting developments for numerous reasons, namely:

  • Newfoundland is the tallest build-to-rent building in the UK (at 220 meters)
  • It is the first residential building ever built on the Canary Wharf private estate
  • Newfoundland has a diamond-pattern steel exoskeleton that structurally supports it

The tower is located at the end of Middle dock, and its prominent location can be seen directly in-front of the main exit of Canary Wharf Jubilee line station. Located on the private estate, Newfoundland tower stands alone among the financial centres buildings.

There is plenty of residential development across the Isle of Dogs — it is estimated nearly 200,000 people live within a mile of Canary Wharf. In addition, the Canary Wharf Group are diversifying from an office-based model, branching into their own residential offering with the creation of new estate Wood Wharf. However, Newfoundland is the first residential only building to be constructed on the original site of Canary Wharf’s financial estate.

Built for the Canary Wharf groups built to rent operator, Vertus, and opened in early 2021, Newfoundland forms the third building in the Vertus portfolio. The other two buildings — 10 George Street and 8 Water Street — are located on their residential estate Wood Wharf.

This article will look at the unique design and construction of the Newfoundland Quay, alongside an FAQ section covering everything from the amenities available to parking spaces.

The diamond tower — designing Newfoundland

newfoundland quay under construction at night
Newfoundland has a steel exoskeleton weighing 9,500 tonnes

The diagrid perimeter structure has been designed to resist 90% of the building wind load allowing the height and weight of the building to be 30% more efficient than a more traditional laterally braced building.

HCLA architects

Why the unusual construction?

Three problems with Newfoundlands desired location

  1. The plot is very narrow — resulting in the building being 26 meters at its widest point!
  2. Running directly underneath the middle of the plot — 23 meters below the surface — is the Jubilee line tube tunnels
  3. The east side of the construction site is directly next to a grade 1 listed “banana wall”. Built in the 19th century during construction of the original historic docks, this wall is both unable to be moved or altered.

Unlike some of the more interestingly shaped buildings in the Canary Wharf area, the interesting design at Newfoundland actually came about through necessity rather than architectural desire.

In a similar problem to the Water Pavilion buildings in Wood Wharf, the narrow plot for Newfoundland runs directly above the Jubilee line! While helping to transport thousands of workers a day to Canary Wharf — as London’s busiest single line tube station — the tunnels that run underneath the site posed a large problem in building foundations for the building.

The problem is that the tunnels for the Jubilee Line are perfectly aligned under the site. As they converge towards the station they create a ‘V-shape’ under our building, limiting our options for piling in the narrowing space between the tunnels.

John Crack, Associate director of structural at Canary Wharf Contractors

This required the interesting design solution, as the pilings that usually make up large skyscrapers footings could not be evenly spread throughout the site. The structural engineer team WSP instead opted to place the 56 main pilings around the tunnels, with the majority located at either end of the site.

Because of this uneven foundation, the strong steel diagrid structure was utilised to balance the load of the skyscraper across the centre of the site — where deep pilings were not permitted. The closest foundation piles are located only 2 m away from the Jubilee line tunnels.

newfoundland quay construction with views to one canada square in canary wharf
Newfoundland sits amongst the commercial buildings of Canary Wharf

The unique shape of the structure is an octagon, with the steel exoskeleton supporting the octagonal core every 4 storeys. At the base of the building there is a three-storey annex that houses additional residents facilities, some of the buildings plant works, and a roof terrace providing residents views across Middle Dock.

newfoundland quay location map of canary wharf

The benefits to an unusual location

While the location posed several challenges in construction, the benefits are clear. Newfoundland stands at the head of Middle Dock, with unobstructed views east across Canary Wharf.

At the moment, Newfoundland Quay also posses unobstructed views to the west across central London. This westerly aspect may eventually change with a 2 million square foot development scheme, secured for a JP Morgan owned site to the immediate west.

Aside from the views the site is also very well placed for multiple transport links.

Newfoundland Infographic

infographic displaying construction facts about newfoundland by

Newfoundland FAQ

How many apartments are there at Newfoundland?

There are 636 apartments in total, available to rent via Vertus. This total is made up of 632 standard apartments, ranging from studios through to 3-bedroom apartments, and 4 penthouse apartments located across the 62nd floor.

In addition, there are 3 extra guest suites — made available for guests of Vertus tenants who want to stay the night.

Newfoundland Quay completion date

Construction began in 2016 with an original target completion date of 2019. Delays in construction due to the complexity of the foundations and negotiations with TFL (who own the tube tunnels underneath the structure), alongside supply chain issues throughout 2020 lead to the building slipping on its schedule.

Newfoundland topped out in November 2018, and the building officially opened in May 2021. The restaurant completion date is estimated to be early 2022.

newfoundland is next to canary wharf’s new private members club the quay club
Newfoundland looks out across Middle Dock and Canary Wharf’s upcoming members club — The Quay Club

Are there apartments for sale at Newfoundland Quay?

No. This building has been commissioned by the Canary Wharf Group for their build-to-rent arm, Vertus.

As a result, the building will remain property of the Canary Wharf Group — all the apartments are only available to rent and will not be placed on the open market.

What amenities are available at Newfoundland Quay?

There are a wealth of amenities available for tenants at Newfoundland. All the usual facilities now commonplace among luxury apartments are found in approximately 13,000 square ft of amenities:

  • Residents lounge and games area
  • 24/7 reception and concierge
  • A state-of-the-art gym
  • Terraced garden and separate children’s play area
  • Access to sister development 8 Water Street’s private screening room
  • 3 additional guest apartments available for residents guests short-term stays
technogym equipment in Vertus’s Newfoundland overlooking Canary Wharf’s Middle Dock
Newfoundland’s high-tech gym overlooks Middle Dock

In addition, there is a significant commercial aspect to this building — offering residents additional food and drink options. There are planned café and retail units at ground level, alongside an expansive restaurant with private and public dining areas and bar, spread across the first floor.

The 10,000 square foot restaurant is currently scheduled to be operated by M Restaurants. It will form their 3rd, and flagship, London branch, and is due to open in 2022.

Is there parking available at Newfoundland?

Yes. Underneath the building there is an expansive 3-storey basement. Here there are approximately 120 parking spaces.

If you are driving to Canary Wharf, access to the building by car is easiest via the west side via Westferry Road.

Why is it called Newfoundland?

Many of the newly built skyscrapers in the area are named symbolically, after references to the areas rich docklands’ history:

  • Dollar Bay, at the other end of Middle Dock, takes its name from an anecdote involving American sailers based in the area during WW2
  • The famous office building One Canada Square, takes its name from the heritage of Paul Reichmann, a Canadian property tycoon and founding investor for the estate
  • Canary Wharf takes its name from a fruit importation company, linked to the Canary Islands.

There is a backstory behind the naming of Newfoundland Quay, but it’s unlikely to be turned into an award-winning film any time soon — it’s named after the discovery of a carpark!

The land the Newfoundland Tower sits on is what was previously a car park for a building which we didn’t own, and we assumed we didn’t own the car park, either. When we found out we did (own the carpark), it was ‘new found land,’ and this is where the inspiration for the building’s name has come from. Unfortunately, not from Newfoundland, Canada.

Martine Basson, Canary Wharf Press Office