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Striking houses in new mini-districts from White City to Canary Wharf

Striking houses in new mini-districts from White City to Canary Wharf


radionally, Londoners have been looking west for fun and fashion, and it has taken a generation to banish the idea that Docklands is the backbone of the beyond. The former eastern border country now competes with “central” London in many ways and attracts not only shoppers and visitors, but also movers and shakers from other parts of the capital.

A sign of the area’s cachet is a fresh wave of glamorous homes. Unlike the Isle of Dogs’ initial splurge of gated apartment blocks that provide crashpads for bankers and lawyers and boxy apartments for the army of clergy and computer workers, the new projects are more family-friendly and provide a sense of neighborhood and community through thoughtful architecture, parks and public spaces, facilities and even schools.

This includes skyscrapers to live in rather than work in. And none is better than One Park Drive, a cylindrical high-rise designed by renowned architects Herzog & de Meuron, from Tate Modern fame.

The tower with 483 apartments stands in stark contrast to the elongated office blocks that surround it and is an architectural tour de force. The building is part of a new mini-district on the Canary Wharf property and was designed from the inside out.

Dressed in rippling, ivory-colored terracotta panels, the 58-storey tower by the harbor has a series of interlocking bays.

Instead of boxy apartments stacked on top of each other, the tower’s facade includes three different design elements or residential zones. And while the exterior is rounded, the interior mostly has regular straight lines. “Circular buildings are challenging when it comes to floor plans, as you need specific furniture or end up with plenty of dead space,” says director Brian De’ath, director of developer Canary Wharf Group. “This building was designed from the inside out. It has a fantastic external effect, but works well internally and is also beautiful. ”

On the lower level are free-floating “loft” apartments with sliding walls and revolving walls, high ceilings and seamless resin floors. Deep, encircled terraces remain, protected from the wind, but have a close relationship with the water and the green area.

Above these homes are 22 floors with smaller apartments, while the 25 upper floors have larger apartments with exposed concrete walls, bespoke wood panels, pivot doors, natural stone finishes and double-height terraces.

The interior of One Park Drive maintains straight lines that are user-friendly


Across the ground, the first and second floors are an impressive entrance portal plus a glass-walled gym with gym and swimming pool as well as a library and a cinema for residents. Prices start at £ 840,000 for a two bedroom loft apartment. Call 020 7418 2000.

One Park Drive is part of the new Wood Wharf neighborhood that will eventually bring more than 2,000 new homes to what was previously a purely commercial zone.

Although Canary Wharf is synonymous with Docklands, it is a 128-acre private estate — an island on an island that is the Isle of Dogs — with its own “ring of steel” security cable.

For many people, it remains an alternative London, one that has more in common with downtown Chicago or Singapore than with Kensington or St John’s Wood.

With an expanding workforce, it has matured into a lively district. More than 800,000 people a week are attracted to its five retail centers, 300 shops, bars and eateries, gyms and concert venues.

Transport links were previously a weak point, but Crossrail trains taking 13 minutes to Bond Street make Canary Wharf feel less detached from central London.

Developers are trumpeting this improved connection, claiming that property values ​​will eventually reach parity with urban and river districts like Bankside and Battersea, typically about 30 percent more expensive. If you like big skies, large bodies of water and dramatic modern architecture, this price difference makes Canary Wharf doubly attractive.


Inspired architecture shines on the brand new Zone 2 address opposite the BBC Television Center

From £ 845,000: new homes at White City Living

/ Distribute

Born-again White City is the site of yet another ongoing project, with £ 8 billion investment in up to 6,000 new homes. Also in the mix is ​​an Imperial College campus with academic expertise for rival Harvard, a media city for creative businesses, an expanded Westfield shopping area and a John Lewis department store along with green public space and upgraded transportation links.

White City Living, opposite the newly developed BBC Television Center, is without a doubt the most ambitious project, a complex engineering challenge that has created a desirable new address in the middle of an enclosed zone correlated by train tracks, the roaring A40 and the West Cross Route.

An important feature is a five-hectare, L-shaped park plus new bridges and footbridges over and through a railway viaduct. A row of 28 abandoned arches turns into shops, bars and eateries with glass. More than 350 trees have been planted. Architects Patel Taylor came up with a “Living in the Park” concept that first designed the landscaping and then the buildings. A public central green runs through the scheme, while there are also private oriental water parks, shrines and sculptural fountains inspired by Counter’s Creek, a “lost” river that used to run through the area.

A massive underground car park frees up space for the landscaped areas. A priority from the locals was better connections to Westfield and the train station, so a “green” pedestrian deck has been built over the open-air tracks on the Central Line.

Tower blocks rise to 32 floors. Prices start from £ 845,000 and there is a Home Club with spa, gym and business lounge plus a “multi-use entertainment suite” for cinema screenings, virtual golf and the like. Call 020 3504 5813.

Although many homes are packed into the plot, the architectural quality shines through. Lattice-shaped apartment blocks overlooking central gardens have sharp, white concrete facades, a reference to the marble-clad pavilions at the 1908 Franco-British exhibition that gave the area its name.

A stadium built for the 1908 Olympics continued as an athletics venue long after, and in the late 1930s the London County Council built a huge council yard on part of the exhibition grounds, while the BBC’s specially built television center opened in 1960. the land was engulfed by warehouses and distribution depots.

Westfield London, which opened in 2008, has proven to be a game changer. With the shiny shopping mall came a new Zone 2 Tube station on Wood Lane plus a new Overground station that triggered more regeneration. The broader mayoral strategy is to connect White City to other West London access areas, such as Kensal Canalside and a 2,350-acre site on Old Oak Common, where 24,000 homes and a transport superhub are planned.

‘I got a 10% discount as an NHS key employee’

Residents, including Gergana Peeva, have been struck by the views and the bold architecture

/ Grant Frazer

As architectural transformations progress, the change at Nine Elms in south-west London is remarkable. Yet there are more worthy examples of unique architecture in the grittier and cheaper Battersea hinterland.

Coda in York Way will strike if you agree with the famous German writer Goethe that architecture is frozen music.

That 24-storey tower certainly hits the high notes, with 130 homes above a brand new headquarters of the Royal Academy of Dance (RAD).

The bold, fluid shape of the building is said to be inspired by the dynamics of the dancers’ movements, with a façade of protruding bays stepping back towards the top, giving a sense of rhythm. Admittedly, the project raises the bar for this pocket in Battersea, characterized by a mix of public and private housing.

Show stops: set above the new Royal Academy of Dance HQ, many Coda apartments have balconies above


Flanking Coda are two smaller housing association blocks, all sitting on a landscaped podium on a floor that runs out into a new public promenade.

Coda’s façade is clad in glass and textured aluminum that resembles stone, while the apartments have full – height windows and many have balconies with two aspects. A declared entrance lobby has a 24-hour concierge, plus there is a gym, residents’ lounge, underground parking and bicycle storage, while the podium garden has areas delimited for relaxation and yoga and pilates sessions.

The new RAD complex below has seven dance studios, two cafés and a specialized archive library.

NHS doctor Gergana Peeva, 39, was an early bird buyer at Coda who was “struck by the architecture and the fabulous views”.

She had rented in Chelsea and expected to stay north of the river, but discovered Coda on a random visit to Battersea and got a home off plan.

“I chose a one-bedroom corner apartment overlooking Canary Wharf and the Shard,” she says. “It has a perfect balance between space outside and inside. The bonus was that I got a 10 percent discount as an NHS key employee. “Two-bedroom apartments start at £ 770,000 and come with Poggenpohl kitchens, Corian countertops and Poliform wardrobes. Call 020 7924 6077.

Coda is the creation of architectural practice Patel Taylor, which has also marked the London Dock, a stylish redevelopment of the former News International headquarters in Wapping, E1.


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