Breaking the Mould: Building London’s Multi-Faceted Skyscraper | The B1M

Breaking the Mould: Building London’s Multi-Faceted Skyscraper | The B1M


Once a series of derelict east London docklands,
the thriving Canary Wharf is now home to skyscrapers like this. Positioned to the east of Canary Wharf and
rising to over 200 metres in height, the striking One Park Drive is the centrepiece of Wood
Wharf – an entire new district being constructed on land reclaimed from the Thames. Rising from a challenging site to deliver a unique profile, multi-faceted façade and
range of apartment types within a diverse and vibrant new neighbourhood – this, is
the story of London’s most impressive new skyscraper. This area of London has changed dramatically
over the last 30 years. Sitting as a disused dockland in the 1980s, continued investment
has completely transformed it – and it now stands as one of the city’s most vibrant
districts. From the completion of One Canada Square in
1990 – then the UK’s tallest building – the region known as Canary Wharf has steadily
expanded over the past three decades. While many recognise the City of London as
the UK’s economic hub, it was in fact the growth and success of Canary Wharf in conjunction
that helped to make London the global financial centre it is today. While the district continues to attract businesses
and commercial talent from around the world, demand for space in the area is increasing
and changing cultures require its appeal to continually evolve and improve. In response, Canary Wharf Group – who own
and operate the estate – are investing in the creation of a vast new neighbourhood. Wood Wharf adds a significant new element
of fabric to the UK’s capital. The decade-long development, which commenced
in 2015, is set to deliver up to 3,600 new homes, 2.8 million square feet of office accommodation
and up to 490,000 square feet of retail space alongside a GP surgery and a two-form entry
primary school. There’s also extensive new public space – with over eight acres of new
squares and parks being formed. One Park Drive is the centre-piece of this
new district. Designed by Swiss architects Herzog and de
Meuron, the cylindrical tower will rise to a height of 58 storeys and become one of the
tallest residential skyscrapers in the UK. While many luxury residential towers in major
cities are notable for their height, One Park Drive uses its 215-metre profile to express
the range of apartment types that it contains. The structure’s façade is broken up into
three distinct elements. While the lower levels offer loft-style apartments with large wrap-around
terraces, the middle section is pixelated to create private balconies for every residence while maximising light and views of the surrounding waterways. Herzog and de Meuron employed a similar design
feature in the upper levels of their 56 Leonard tower in New York. The upper section of One Park Drive takes
things a step further, offsetting each floor to the one below to create large, double-height
terraces with sweeping views across London. While some of the new Wood Wharf district
is being built on the former dockland, One Park Drive – one of London’s tallest new
structures – is actually being built on land that has been reclaimed from the south
dock, on a site that used to be water. In 2016, sheet piling was driven into the
river bed to form a lagoon in the dock. Then, material from the Isle of Wight was transported
to London and pumped into the lagoon. The process of establishing this new area
of land within the river required over 57 million litres of water to be pumped from
the lagoon back over into the dock – a process that took more than a week to complete. While building in new districts often helps
to avoid many of the challenges that come with inner-city development, One Park Drive
faced a number of challenges in its construction phase. Rising alongside 12 other new structures in
phase one of the Wood Wharf masterplan – some of which stand over 40 storeys tall themselves
– construction teams have invested heavily in advanced logistics, planning and sequencing,
and have worked to maximise communication between the different project sites. Having successfully navigated these logistical
challenges, the end result will be a new city district that is likely to feel like a cohesive
community much faster than if works had continued across multiple projects over an extended
period of time. When it completes at the end of 2019, the
residents of One Park Drive will be able to enjoy a range of amenities including a pool,
library, private lounge and cinema. Rising from a newly formed site, One Park
Drive is set to make a notable mark on the skyline and start the next chapter in the
remarkable history of London’s docklands – an impressive centre-piece, to a compelling
new neighbourhood, in one of the world’s greatest cities. If you guys enjoyed this video and want to
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