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Blackwall Reach

London, UK

We led the integrated environmental infrastructure planning and design input to the successful bid for a £1.5 billion redevelopment of a key 10 hectare site adjacent to the Blackwall tunnel approach road and LB Tower Hamlets Civic Centre. Controversial because it would involve demolition of the Brutalist Robin Hood Estate with its famous ‘streets in the sky’, the cost of repair of a design liked by the congnescenti but fewer others, had seen its best days. The aim of our plan was to attempt to crate an area of greenery at grade on walls and on roofs equal to the area of the development site as a response in part to changing climate. A large park at the heart of the scheme is addressed by the perimeter urban blocks, high on the noisy road to the east and with glazed sound baffles. A central willow and rush feature connects north and south and deals with surface water.        


Green roofs with PVs attenuate rainfall, reduce air bourne dust and generate power. Hedged kitchen gardens and residents gardens frames the park. The DLR to the south has a station onto a civic square surrounded by high towers as the commercial heart. A series of character zones assist way finding. The wining scheme promoted by Swan Housing Association and Countryside Properties plc, had a team lead by Aedas with Jestico Wiles contributing to one of the zones. Studio Engleback considered connections to adjacent areas, shading, amelioration of noise and air pollution, microclimate, biodiversity, recreation and convivial living and a series of squares and plazas running along a diagonal from north to south.





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