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Water Pavilions by The London Project
Water Street — 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, including:
However, one of the most novel ideas comes in the form of two floating buildings at 1 and 5 Water Street known as Water Street Pavilions.
In early 2021 it was confirmed that the entire floating complex will become a flagship venue for high-end restaurant brand The London Project.
No, that isn’t marked wrong on the map.
The Canary Wharf Group aren’t expecting you to go swimming in the docks!
Just to the north of the new Water Street bridge, the two Water Pavilions are 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.
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.
Requiring the Pavilion structures to be fully-floating also added complexity, because the future restaurants are 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!
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 in 2019.
After the success of Water Street bridge Kilnbridge constructors were subsequently awarded the contract to construct both the Water Pavilions.
The 2,000 tonne floating barges took 15 months to construct, and Kilnbridge have recorded a short time-lapse of the construction.
After internal fittings — the buildings are 90% completed offsite — the floating buildings were towed along the Thames and placed into position.
Last-minute touches are added onsite, once the pavilions have been secured into their final resting place in Wood Wharf.
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.
No strangers to unique locations — while the brand took their inspiration from London — The London Project’s original venue was located on the man-made Bluewaters Island in Dubai.
Check out their instagram account for an idea of the food and drink currently offered by the brand in Dubai.
The Wood Wharf location will be their second venue, and is aimed as a flagship location for the brand.
Aiming to be the most progressive bar in the region, The London Project’s CEO Stephen Valentino has promised a wide range of features in their takeover of both one and five Water Pavilions:
In addition to hosting The London Project, the pavilions will also provide floating walkways and plenty of outdoor seating. This aims at building on the relaxed vibe the Canary Wharf group are trying to create in their new residential estate.
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.