Green light for Andy Sturgeon at Canada Water

The new masterplan scheme South-east London brings the capital a workspace hub with new places to eat, drink and relax at the Dock’s water’s edge, surrounded by 130 acres of open green space.

Canada Water Dockside development
Canada Water Dockside development

Spearheaded by Art-Invest, the plans feature two commercially-led buildings designed by the architects, Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) and HWKN Architecture. Art-Invest has a proven track record in delivering transformational projects and establishing new urban quarters. They successfully launched Die Macherei in Munich in 2022, which was subsequently awarded the LEED Gold award for sustainable neighbourhood development. Southwark council also approved for garden designer, Andy Sturgeon to transform Canada Water Dock’s eastern edge.

Sturgeon’s design will connect the public directly with the water’s edge to create valuable waterside spaces. The design will feature a meandering walkway to the water’s edge, rich in biodiverse planting to transform it into a place where people can connect with nature, enjoy being close to the water, and come together as a community.

The design will feature two deck levels with accessible stairs encouraging people to explore the entire north-south promenade, a terraced amphitheatre, a young anglers’ area and small seating pockets, floating islands with shrubs as well as playful elements through the planting offering possibility for exploration and immersive environments for youngsters. Sturgeon’s design reflects the dockland’s timber heritage, where stacked timber seating in the amphitheatre reflect the floating timbers that were originally brought to land here. A repurposed docking bollard has been included in a pocket seating area.

Ecological connectivity to the wider landscape is key to the design and Sturgeon’s teams are working with local ecology groups and stakeholders to create habitats and conditions appropriate for local ecology and contribute to the local environment. Planting from local provenance, as well as climate resistant species has been chosen to maximise biodiversity for both above and below water. Extensive marginal planting is to create habitats suitable for aquatic ecology. Above ground, the selected plants are to provide food and habitats for local species. Sturgeon’s proposal includes a biodiversity net gain of 12.23% for the development, in excess of the base requirement of 10%.

Sturgeon said, “We are extremely excited about this new public realm which marries so many of the key aspects which define our practice. People, ecology and biodiversity are at the heart of everything in this special waterside scheme.”

Image credit: Art-Invest