As part of London’s extensive Greenwich Peninsula development, plans were recently unveiled for an ambitious project which will see a total of eight architecture firms band together to create a brand new purpose-built design district comprising sixteen buildings spread over a one-hectare site. The district, when completed, will be the first of its kind in London.

Img: Uniform via Design Week
The district will then provide a permanent base for up to 1,800 individuals within London’s creative sector, bringing together businesses ranging from independent artists to large-scale design firms.

The sixteen buildings which form the bulk of the district were designed by architecture firms Barrozi Veiga, 6a Architects, Mole, Architecture 00, SelgasCano; Assemblage, Adam Khan Architects and David Kohn Architects. Landscape architects Schulze+Grassov will create the public areas of the district, while the scheme as a whole will be overseen by developer Knight Dragon.

The aforementioned firms had no easy task however when it came to creating a cohesive space for the city’s creative minds, as they were each tasked with designing a pair of buildings while being kept completely blind to the ideas of the other firms. This was done in order to create an eclectic, visually-appealing aesthetic through a “provocative diversity of colour and form”.

Img: Uniform via Design Week
The buildings will each house a wide range of “low-cost, human-scaled” workshops, as well as artists’ studios of varying size and flexible desk space. A fully pedestrianised series of courtyards and a public square will form the central areas of the district, complete with a transparent market hall, open-house workshops and even a full-size basketball court. Rooftop terraces and retail design studios displaying a rotating showcase of works by local designers will complete the public offerings of the district.

In an effort to “answer the call for more affordable workspaces in the capital”, developers Knight Dragon have stated that rent for studio spaces within the new district will average at just £25 per square foot, while workshop space will start at £10 per square foot.

As previously mentioned the new design district forms just one part of the larger Greenwich Peninsula development, which stands as one of the largest regeneration projects to be undertaken in the city of London. Planned for delivery in a single phase, the new district is scheduled to be open to its first tenants by early 2020.

Richard Margree, chief executive of Knight Dragon, said of the design district and the Greenwich Peninsula development as a whole, “Creativity is what drives forward any thriving city. The Peninsula presents a unique chance to create a new permanent district designed by creatives for creatives.

“At the very centre of this new community will be artists mixing with start-ups, mixing with independent market traders and design companies, large and small; everyone is welcome. We want a real mix of companies to come and to take over the place.”


Sam Bonson

Sam is an aspiring novelist with a passion for fantasy and crime thrillers. He is currently working as a content writer, journalist & editor as he continues to expand his horizons.
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