South Bank.

an evolving landscape

London’s South Bank is celebrated for its cultural importance as an entertainment district offering spectacular panoramic views of some of the City’s famous architectural sites.

 

Numerous tourist attractions, business districts, and docklands can be accessed via the riverside walks and transport links along the Thames.

 

Convoys Wharf is one of the many docklands bordering the riverside, however, very little is known about it. This large area of abandoned wasteland was once an important dockyard for trade routes, newsprint, and Royal Navy shipbuilding from as early as the 1500s.

 

Steeped in history, but neglected for centuries, the site is ripe for development.    

experimental designs

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We were approached to reimagine Convoys Wharf in an ‘ideal world’ setting and create conceptual designs that would breathe life into this neglected landscape.

 

The brief:

 

  • Residential council housing

 

  • A hub for commercial businesses

 

  • Pedestrianised routes

Our proposal:

 

  • Evoke the site’s historic routes and transform the space into a contemporary, yet historic, area of interest in London

  • Create a multi-sensory site to encourage interaction, discovery, and exploration

  • Areas of expansion and compression to accommodate large gatherings, points of interest, and contemplative intimate zones.

 

  • Experimental planting and innovative design solutions to investigate the relationship between the landscape, climate, structures, and wildlife.

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structural interest

At the centre of our design is the Olympia warehouse, formerly used for news printing. We stripped this structure back to its bare form, revealing a large latticework frame.

 

Low maintenance wild plants interweaved across the frame gives this old metal structure over to nature to enjoy free reign.

 

Outdoor exhibit spaces reconnect the Wharf with South Bank's longstanding ties to London's cultural art scene. 

 

Designed as a contemporary twist on the model of a Tudor ship, the Corten steel lookout tower echoes the site's naval history. The surrounding expanse of water exposes old ship parts and decaying structures at low tide for additional archaeological interest. 

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We created opportunities for the residential community and public to engage their senses and experience luxuries they may not otherwise have access to.

 

The viewing tower, beaches, jetty, and network of routes forking out to the river would enable the public to enjoy the holistic benefits of connecting with water.

 

Gardens to 'grow your own' and precious allotment space is a rarity for City dwellers. Community-run vegetable patches, herb gardens, and orchard encourage learning and provide fresh, seasonal produce to the Wharf's residents and commercial business owners.

holistic living

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an evolving site

We wanted to experiment with both structural and planting solutions that could work with the climate and landscape.

 

Sustainable Urban Drainage Solutions counter issues of riverbank flooding and stormwater run-off. Bioswales redirect water towards the rain garden and reed beds for remediation and dissipation back into the river.

 

A large waterwheel converts energy from the river’s current to generate a percentage of power for the Wharf’s commercial businesses.

 

Phytoremediation planting schemes, such as willows and reeds in the wetland areas, would help stabilise pollution levels in the soil and water.

 

Wetland habitats would allow us to observe how native wildlife interacts with and adapts to the space.

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