At Silvertown Quays we harnessed the unique history of this former dockland to masterplan a development with a sense of place unlike anywhere else in London.
Our mixed-use masterplan celebrates the industrial and maritime heritage of this East London dockland through the notion of a ‘found’ landscape. Inspired by the austere beauty, timeworn textures and rich ecology of the derelict site, we were committed to retaining the elements that leant Silvertown its powerful sense of place.
For us this meant tracing or retaining historic features which helped tell the story of this waterside landscape, while allowing the iconic listed buildings to play a crucial role in defining the character of the new public spaces. Existing materials would be reused and repeated amongst a wider palette evoking Silvertown’s industrial qualities and scale.
The planting also draws on the past. We surveyed the brownfield plant communities which grew up after the docks fell derelict, creating a planting design that sensitively mimicked the biodiverse pioneer species that had colonised the site – and establishing a unique aesthetic where nature seems to burst from every crevice.
Water continues to define the Silvertown experience, just as it always has. A dockland promenade stretches across the waterfront, which is enriched with floating gardens and bridges. Interactive water features and creative drainage design details are integrated throughout the public realm, making it an intrinsically playful landscape for all ages.
For a mixed-use site that stitches together residential, commercial and community uses, it was important to design public spaces to be vibrant, inclusive spaces which welcome everyone. Mills Square offers flexibility for a rolling roster of events, plays and exhibitions to draw people in, while Silo D park offers a community-focused neighbourhood green to tie in with the creative reuse of the grain silo.