As growth on the Isle of Dogs continues, Quay House explores a coexistence of architecture, engineering, and beautiful sculpture for residents and visitors to enjoy.
The 0.19 hectare site is bounded by the South Quay dockside walkway and busy thoroughfares connecting to Canary Wharf, including the underline, a new route proposed to the underside of the DLR. The scheme contributes to the creation of a new cluster of tall buildings providing a composed and considered elevation to the south dock and Marsh Wall.
Seeking to create space for people and enhance the public realm around it, the 40-storey tower features an organic, sculpture-like form ‘floating’ above a podium, which will house all of the programme’s active functions. The solid raised building is envisaged as a pebble, shaped by the forces of water around it. Inside, it is vertically divided into two functions: a 400-bed hotel facing the dock, and 279 serviced apartments to the south. The general window position is flush with the outer surface of green hued concrete cladding. Two floor plan types with alternating window positions generate a horizontal banding that decreases in frequency towards the top of the building, whilst a dramatic vertical slash provides a deep reveal into the stair between the two functions.
Ultra-high performance pre-cast concrete panels with grain, texture and pattern legible from a distance emphasize the concept of a ‘pebble’ left exposed by the Thames. The sculptural columns at the base taper inwardly as though compressed by the heaviness of the form.
The podium’s highly transparent and visually light glass louvres contrast with the pebble, wrapping around the perimeter of the elevation, helping direct pedestrians to entrances and giving a glimpse into the front of house activities. This transparency allows for successful interactivity between pedestrians, DLR users, and the newly created public realm which has, in recent years been underused.