Fish Island, a district in London’s East End, has experienced a period of redevelopment. Once an industrial area, the area is now known for its vibrant art community. In recent years, Fish Island has continued to evolve and transform, with a particular emphasis on integrating the existing creative spaces with residential and commercial.
The latest chapter in this transformation has been the work of pH+ architects, with a mixed-use scheme that layers domestic spaces within a larger complex that also includes maker and retail spaces. “Iceland Wharf” will deliver 120 homes and 40,000sq ft of commercial space in “flexible tethered living and working environments.”
The newly designed standalone buildings sit alongside the old ammonia works, a historic structure that has been repurposed to house offices and maker spaces while preserving the industrial past of the area. The historic building is seamlessly integrated into newly designed structures, and connected by internal courtyards framed by outdoor walkways that allow light to enter into otherwise dark interior spaces. These outdoor areas function as more than a passageway; pockets of wider, open spaces allow for communal gathering and socializing.
The architects describe the organization of outdoor balconies and walkways as the “spine” of the complex, connecting the rooftop terraces with the residences and rooftop terraces. From above, the terraces provide views of London and the River Lea located at the complex’s edge. The natural landscape is restored as the River Lea becomes an environmental spectacle, shedding its earlier use as an industrial waterway.
Our architecture has sought to challenge use class definitions and has developed instead to celebrate and instigate physical and programmatic blurring which in turn has provided the perfect test bed to explore the difficulties and opportunities provided by large-scale urban regeneration projects.
pH+ Director Gavin Henneberry describes Iceland Wharf as an exhilarating place where people can simultaneously live and work. The firm has worked to design shared spaces that challenge density guidelines to maintain the existing character as a community of creativity.
News via: pH+ architects