A New Vision for London’s Royal Docks
London, United Kingdom
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A vision to transform the historic Royal Docks in east London into a global waterfront destination.
A waterfront for tomorrow, reborn from legacy
The Royal Docks was once London’s gateway to global trade and industry – a vibrant hub that hosted people and products from around the world and played a crucial role in servicing the city and its people. Following decades of decline, the Royal Docks closed to commercial traffic in 1981. Today, however, the area is enjoying a revival through substantial transformation and investment.
Together with the London Collective, Dar, one of Sidara’s global design specialists, developed a vision that would transform the Royal Docks into a globally recognized waterfront destination with a focus on sports, leisure and entertainment.
Taking an innovative, modular, and flexible approach to urban planning, the imagined masterplan includes a state-of-the-art ‘eventscape’ and will offer residents and visitors a unique, compelling, and ever-changing mix of reasons to engage with the new Royal Docks.
The plan also connects to wider development and will be a catalyst for further investment, combining mixed use facilities with social infrastructure for local residents and the wider community.
With water at the forefront, the Royal Docks will become a prime location to live, work and play – a destination with a strong sense of local community and unique features that honour the district’s unique historic character.
Reconfigurable modules for a modern canvas
The plan hinges on a configurable collection of floating buildings, structures, and spaces, specifically designed to activate the enormous and vibrant potential of the waterfront into a waterfront boulevard.
These modules can be configured to suit a wide range of activities and user groups. Individually they can deliver a wide variety of functions, activities, and commercial uses, from boutique hotels and restaurants to libraries and pocket parks. Collectively they can be combined to offer stunning potential options for events.
One example makes provisions for the embankment and floating modules to be reconfigured and the decking removed to reveal a racetrack fully capable of hosting a major motorsport event, with the floating modules offering spectators unique vantage points from which to observe the race – a truly unique concept.
This flexibility will help cater towards diverse interests and activities of a wide range of people.
New life for a historic gateway
Through approaching the design in this way, the plan provides the capacity to adapt to future opportunities, while still meeting the evolving needs of the local community. It also positions this famed destination to once again claim the spotlight as a culturally rich and unique waterfront home for innovative business and culture.
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