Water Street — Wood Wharf
Innovative design in Wood Wharf
One of the nicest things about living in Canary Wharf is the sense of constant change and progression.
The area has changed remarkably over the years. Yet, with major developments in the pipeline across the peninsula — alongside the new Wood Wharf area — this change continues rapidly!
In the Wood Wharf area, there are many developments vying for the headlines:
- One Park Drive — the Pulitzer prize-winning architect designed tower
- Canary Wharf’s first attempt at build to rent with 10 George Street
- Stanton Williams 10 Park Drive tying up with the first residential Third Space
And many others.
However, one of the most novel ideas actually comes in the form of two restaurants at 1 and 5 Water Street.
1 & 5 Water Street Pavilions
No — that isn’t marked wrong on the map!
Just to the north of the new Water Street bridge, the two Water Pavilions are actually going to be floating structures in the middle of the South Dock.
The Canary Wharf group commissioned architects Glenn Howells to maximise interaction with the water and, “activate the dock”.
An overriding goal of the proposals was to activate the dock as a distinctive piece of public realm, allowing people to have a much closer relationship to the water and creating a new series of environments within which to experience the development as a whole.Glen Howells Architects
This has led to the construction of Water Square, with two floating pavilions and a series of interconnecting walkways and bridges.
Are they actually floating?
Yes. Unlike the construction methods used to create parts of Canary Wharf and Wood Wharf — where land has been reclaimed from the docks to provide the stability needed for large skyscrapers — there was a unique problem with the Water Street area that prevented this.
The Water Pavilions and the new Water Street access bridge linking Canary Wharf and Wood Wharf are located in an area where digging too deep is not recommended! The Jubilee line passes immediately under the location.
This ruled out traditional methods of construction for a site like this — driving piles deep into the dock bed to provide support for fixed construction would be difficult here.
It also added additional complexity because they are now classified as barges. Therefore, the Pavilions would have to ensure they could withstand impacts from any stray boats.
They also need to be buoyant enough to cope with full restaurants and an influx of visitors on the pontoons — not to mention being anchored correctly, so they don’t float away!
Construction of Water Street Bridge and the Water Pavilions
Canary Wharf contractors hired Kilnbridge — a local construction and concrete pre fabrication specialist — to create the new £7 million bridge in an imaginative way.
Needing to connect the estates without supports in the water, they decided to use one solid unsupported concrete bridge, with the only points of contact at the edges of the Wood Wharf and Canary Wharf estates.
Kilnbridge constructors pre-fabricated the bridge in two main sections on land. They then transported it to Wood Wharf by floating it along the Thames and installed it in-situ.
They were subsequently awarded the contract to construct both the Water Pavilions too, and have recorded a short time-lapse of the construction.
When finally fitted out and 90% completed, they too will be floated along the Thames and into position before last-minute touches are added onsite.
Opening timeline and restaurant plans
Whilst the pandemic has set back plans, at the moment the current plan is for both Water Pavilions to be mixed hospitality venues.
Water Street Bridge was completed and installed in early 2019 — giving Wood Wharf the much-needed access to Canary Wharf before the first residents at 10 George Street moved in.
Kilnbridge began construction of the two Pavilions at the end of 2019, and as you can see from the video above the main concrete portion has been completed. Works are currently ongoing on the steel frame above. The final fit out will take another few months, and it is estimated they will be floated into place and installed in January 2021.
East London burger favourites — Patty & Bun — are hoping to move in to one of the Pavilions later on in 2021.
It is great to see some interesting new concepts being tried out here at Wood Wharf. The floating Pavilions look like not only a great way to maximise the space — but they give the area a unique feel and provide additional space for residents to enjoy.