One West India Quay
32-storeys — West India docks
1 West India Quay, containing the Marriott Canary Wharf, is often referred to as the sail building or just 22 Hertsmere Road.
It is a mixed-use building, combining residential and hotel accommodation. The one million square foot development rises 111 meters, at the end of a row of refurbished warehouses in West India docks.
The 32-storey tower is an interestingly designed, curving mixture of glass and aluminium cladding. Well ahead of its time, the modern looking building at 22 Hertsmere road is actually nearing its 20th birthday – it was designed in early 2002.
Whilst 1 West India Quay is most commonly referred to as the Marriott Canary Wharf hotel, it is actually 2/3rds residential.
- The first 1-9 floors are occupied by the Marriot Hotel group, with 301 rooms available
- Floors 9-12 house 47 serviced apartments. These are available at short or medium term rents and serviced by the Marriot hotel group staff, with access to the hotel facilities
- Floors 13 – 32 encompass 154 generously sized apartments with an additional 6 penthouses located on the smaller double height 32nd floor. This double-height mezzanine floor is also why the building is occasionally noted as having 33 storeys.
Building construction and design
Developed as part of a larger regeneration project for the West India Quay area, 1 West India Quay was masterminded by Squire and Partners.
Given a nautical theme, the modern building was designed to look like a sail, sitting at the end of the row of refurbished warehouses on Hertsmere Road.
Eventually this hotel site in the Squire and Partners area masterplan was sold to the Marriott hotel chain. 22 Hertsmere roads developers, West India Quay Developments Ltd then commissioned international architects HOK to finalise the buildings design and create the 1 West India Quay we see today.
The architecture firm HOK, previously known as Hellmuth, Obata & Kassabaum, is a renowned global design firm that specialise in urban development.
Planning permission was granted in early 2002, with construction starting shortly after. The building used innovative modular construction techniques, involving pre casting the tensioned concrete and steel offsite. These modules were then brought to the site and assembled – this technique is stated to have reduced construction time by almost 30%.
The building topped out in September 2003, reaching its height of 111 meters. 1 West India Quay is now dwarfed by virtually all of the new residential developments in Canary Wharf. The current tallest residential building, Landmark Pinnacle, is over twice the height at nearly 240 meters!
However ultra-tall residential buildings are a relatively recent phenomenon for the area. At the time of completion in 2004, 1 West India Quay was actually the tallest residential development in the entirety of the UK.
Area and transport
Located just to the north of Canary Wharf, 1 West India Quay is very well placed for access to the financial center. A short walk over North Quay bridge takes you directly to the private estate.
Situated next to West India Quay DLR, the building is very easy to access via public transport. This will further improve in 2022 with the opening of Crossrail Place, Canary Wharf’s new Crossrail station being located around 200m away.
There is parking available in the underground car park, but these were both limited and all sold in the initial marketing of the development.
While the apartments at West India Quay have a separate entrance to the main hotel, they do benefit from use of the hotel amenities. This means there is a well staffed 24 hour concierge, and small onsite leisure facilities available for use.
In addition, the serviced apartments on floors 9-12 benefit from room service and a turndown service from the Marriott hotel staff.
Exceptionally spacious rooms
Data collected from properties across the UK has showed that since the 1970s, home sizes have continually decreased. This phenomenon has showed no signs of slowing down, and Canary Wharf has been no exception to the rule.
Designed at the turn of millennium, the floor plan of 1 West India Quay really highlights this, and the average flat sizes in this building are significantly larger than many new build developments.
All two bedroom flats are over 1000 square foot, with plenty at nearly 1,700 square foot. In comparison, in some later developments across the peninsula such as the twisting Baltimore Tower, there are two bedroom flats at under 700 square foot.
The larger floor plates coupled with the high ceilings and floor to ceiling glass windows for many of the aspects mean that the apartments here not only feel, but are, very spacious for the area.
As part of a larger redevelopment of West India Quay, 22 Hertsmere road has easy access to the huge number of bars and restaurants that have sprung up as part of the regeneration of the warehouses next door.
Planned long before Crossrail Place was even on the drawing board, West India Quay has actually found itself in a prime position for the latest transport link.
The success of the Canary Wharf estate has spurred huge redevelopment across the peninsula. However the vast majority of residential development across the Isle of Dogs has been located to the immediate south of the estate.
1 West India Quays location, to the immediate north of the estate, places it within 200m of the brand new Crossrail Place station, closer even than groups own Wood Wharf development. In addition, the group now have plans to develop the area to the immediate east of 22 Hertsmere road, now known as North Quay.
The Canary Wharf groups plans for the North Quay site include a complete overhaul of the area, new footbridge connections north to Poplar and 3.8 million square foot of redevelopment. This will only improve the facilities, accessible and immediate surroundings to 1 West India Quay.
Lack of outside/green space
The six penthouses at the top of the building, benefit from a stepped facade, providing generous terraces. These rooftop terraces are over 750 square foot and feature fantastic views across Canary Wharf.
Unfortunately for everybody else, that is the full extent of the outside space offered. The buildings sleek sail-like design doesn’t provide for any balconies or winter gardens.
In addition, with a large part of the building taken up by the hotel, any communal areas are dedicated to hotel facilities. Whilst these facilities are shared by residents they are obviously designed around commercial uses: restaurants, gym, reception etc.
The great location is placed right in the middle of it all, next to the waterfront surrounded by a DLR station and several restaurant and commercial units. But while this may suit many people, it is very built up with a lack of greenery.
The comfortable outside space afforded by many modern developments in the area: the panoramic observatory area at The Wardian, the rooftop terrace at Landmark Pinnacle or the landscaped gardens at Maine Tower, are all notably absent here.
Mixed-use building adds complication
There will always be positives and negatives to splitting buildings into residential and non residential areas, and it is a practise that is prevelant across the Isle of Dogs.
At 1 West India Quay, the building structure is slightly more complicated with virtually four different ownership structures.
- Marriott hotel rooms
- A significant number of serviced apartments linked to the Marriott hotel
- A significant number of serviced apartments owned by an external company
- Purely residential apartments
This complicated ownership structure, and some practises between landlords and owners, has lead to several court cases. Notably, over formation of the residents association and service charges.
The 2018 Case of No.1 West India Quay (Residential) Ltd vs East Tower Apartments Ltd reached its way through the entirety of the UK court system through the High Court and the Court of Appeal.
While this isn’t necessarily something that will affect new purchases within the 22 Hertsmere road development, it is something to bare in mind, and does highlight the complexities of the buildings divisions.
The towering sail-like building at 22 Hertsmere road, continues to provide a great addition to Canary Wharf’s skyline, nearly 20 years after its original design.
Well ahead of its time, its curved aluminium and glass facade still looks modern. The glass wall affords beautifully light filled apartments, and if anything 1 West India Quay’s spacious interiors highlight modern developments shrinking room sizes.
1 West India does come at a premium, with significantly higher service charges than comparably sized apartments in the area. Additionally, the complex ownership and structure of the building both take some shine off owning here.
However, with the addition of Crossrail Place and the planned redevelopment of North Quay, 22 Hertsmere road will shortly find itself in prime position once again.
The location, and roomy apartments make 1 West India Quay as attractive as ever.