Consortium Carillion Igloo Genesis (CIG) has won a competition to design and build Britain’s first ‘floating village’ at Royal Victoria Dock, east London, beating competition from the likes of Baca Architects and Ian Ritchie Architects.
The scheme was designed by lead architect Professor Alex de Rijke of London’s Royal College of Art, inspired by the floating villages in Venice.
The scheme will turn Royal Victoria Dock from an industrial powerhouse into a “thriving community” boasting residential housing, offices, restaurants, cafes and bars spread over 15 acres. CIG’s winning design plan proposes the 50 homes to be custom built with concrete foundations and with design input from its prospective occupiers. Much like the floating village in Ijburg, Netherlands, each house will be built off-site and transported into place by water. CIG even consulted with Dutch experts in floating structures to help with the design of the submission.
CIG Director, Chris Brown, said of the scheme: “By combining the floating home experience of our Dutch collaborators with our custom built business we hope to make these dreams come true in Royal Victoria Dock for a few lucky Londoners. East London's place on the tourist trail is growing fast. It's about to be joined by Europe's largest floating village, with floating markets, creative workspace, events and watersports.”
Each building will be connected by bridges and will also house a large events venue, an ice rink and a floating lido.
Mayor, Boris Johnson, said: “This site has the potential to become one of the most sought after addresses in the capital while breathing new life back into London's waterways.”
“Carillion Igloo Genesis' scheme will create a unique mixed use development providing a range of commercial activities within a high quality water environment for Londoners and visitors, creating a variety of jobs and raising the profile of London's Royal Docks.”
The proposed scheme, however, has not been without its fair share of criticism. It has been described as a “yuppie ghetto” by the Mayor of the Borough of Newham, Sir Robin Wales. Newham Council is yet to decide whether or not to grant the scheme planning permission next year.
Sir Robin Wales said: “The current plans for the Floating Village do not meet our vision or the Greater London Authority's own London Plan. Newham Council cannot, and will not, accept a development consisting purely of luxury apartments which will be out of reach of the majority of our residents.”
A planning application is to be submitted to Newham Council in Spring 2015.