Blackwall Yard, London

Blackwall Yard, London

In east London, a new piece of city will forge connections between bustling Tower Hamlets, the Thames riverfront and Greenwich Peninsula. Sitting between Canary Wharf and the Royal Docks with a listed graving dock at its heart, the new mixed-use neighbourhood of Blackwall Yard will be a place for all to live, work and enjoy.

Blackwall Yard is a 1.9-hectare riverside site on the north bank of the Thames which unlocks a significant new area of public space and access to 100 metres of south-facing Thames Path which was previously inaccessible to the public.

The mixed-use masterplan comprises 898 new tenure-blind homes, of which at least 35% will be affordable, a primary school, community facilities and almost 2000sqm of new commercial space.

Client: Hadley Property Group
Location: Tower Hamlets, London, UK
Status: Planning submitted December 2020.
Contractor: TBC
Visuals: Uniform, WhiteView

There is real passion to create a new place that interacts with its surroundings, a public realm for everyone; that is memorable, desirable, accessible, usable for residents, visitors and the local community all year round.

The missing piece of the jigsaw

The new neighbourhood acts as a natural connection to the surrounding area, creating a new place that interacts with its surroundings; a public realm for everyone. The massing and orientation of the buildings on the site is designed to maximise views to the river and the graving dock at all levels, enhancing long-term permeability with new connections north-south unlocking public access to the Thames path, the new riverboat pier and views towards historic Greenwich.

Low impact living

The holistic sustainability strategy for Blackwall Yard promotes healthy, sustainable lifestyles throughout all aspects of the development; from embodied carbon and resource use, to the way people move within and around the neighbourhood. Services are integrated across the site with air source heat pumps providing low-carbon heating and cooling and an ENVAC vacuum waste system facilitating centralised waste collection, significantly reducing the need for HGV traffic in pedestrian areas.


High-density, compact living makes the sharing economy a reality at Blackwall Yard. Residents will have access to car- and bike-share schemes, electric car charging, food growing opportunities and a circular economy hub connecting people around recycling, reuse and education. Aside from accessible parking and electric car club provision, the neighbourhood will be car-free, supported by improved links to cycle networks, DLR, bus and riverboat transport links.

The site demanded a creative design approach that responded to a unique set of constraints. The proposal creates an essential link between existing communities and the riverfront whilst taking the opportunity to bring the historic graving dock back into public use as part of a vibrant public realm and sunny riverside destination.
Michael Woodford, Project Director

Natural Capital

The existing brownfield site was of low ecological value, but its riverside location offers a great potential, and responsibility, to create a natural habitat for a variety of wildlife through Green & Blue spaces across the site.

The new scheme provides 500sqm of allotment space, orchards, rain gardens, a meadow, climbing plants, a natural pool and inter tidal planting. Retention and provision of new trees combined with a generous green buffer zone will improve the amenity and air quality along Blackwall Way and supplement the new pedestrian connection between East India DLR Station and the riverfront, which forms the principle gateway into the site. Green roofs & SuDs to provide further biodiversity gains across the site whilst also helping to reduce flooding risk.

The substantial new landscaped public realm both on site and in the immediate surroundings mitigates the challenging conditions of the site; noise, air pollution, flood risk and the impact of the prevailing wind, whilst also building the sense of place and achieving a biodiversity net gain.

Contact & Team

Michael Woodford

Michael Woodford

Architect, Office director

+44 794 463 45 13

Linda Thiel

Lead Specialist

Please share!

Related projects

All Projects