Floating village planned for docks

London mayor selects architectural company dRMM to design village for the Royal Victoria Dock.

Floating village: design drafted
Floating village: design drafted

A design for the UK's first floating village features a blue water square framed by a market square and a floating corniche (road).

Led by Professor Alex de Rijke, architecture company dRMM has drawn up the design for the site, which lies on 6ha of water in east London's Royal Victoria Dock.

Although a first for the UK, floating developments are already popular in other parts of Europe such as Holland, Germany and parts of Scandinavia.

De Rijke recently presented his studies on floating villages to prestigious cultural institution Venice Architecture Biennale. dRMM is working with a winning consortium - collectively named Carillon Igloo Genesis - that has been selected to design and build the floating village by London mayor Boris Johnson.

The mayor announced the winners of his floating village competition last month, with consortium members including construction firm Carillon, the Igloo regeneration fund and Genesis Housing Association.

dRMM said in a statement: "Our design is deliberately not an isolated 'village' but a floating part of London. Our proposal seeks to demonstrate the potential of the site for (and beyond) the pilot scheme of 50 residential units whilst integrating an urban mix of associated commercial, leisure, visitor attraction and cultural spaces.

"The objective is not only to create an attractive destination but a socially sustainable community that can accommodate future growth."

A floating Lido and an ice rink have also been proposed for the development. A planning application for the entire scheme is expected to be submitted to Newham Council in spring 2015.

Docks transformed

The Royal Docks, which include 20km of waterfront, are waiting to be transformed into a new district. The "Royals" include Royal Albert Dock, Royal Victoria Dock and King George V Dock. Floating villages will be linked by pedestrian and cycle bridges to parks, transport interchanges and cultural attractions.

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