The Eastern Dock Edge is part of the Canada Water redevelopment for the enjoyment of the existing community and new residents, workers and visitors who will come to Canada Water as part of the regeneration underway to deliver a new town centre. We entered and won a design competition to design a hub that would knit together with the wider masterplan and development by British Land, reflect the heritage of Canada Water and Southwark and provide an individuality to this part of the development.
At the moment, there is no public access to the waterside, our sustainable design allows people to connect with the water’s edge through a meandering walkway that expands and contracts creating pocket spaces rich in biodiverse planting for socialising, activity, leisure, work, play and entertainment.
The design creates a sense of place rooted in the waterside location and unified through planting. Grasses at the upper levels mirror the movement of reeds included in marginal planting at the water level. We have selected local plants that capture every layer of habitat from the water to the upper-level tree canopy that offer shelter and welcome in local species.
Key features include:
A double sided amphitheatre, facing both towards and away from the water, for cultural events and social gatherings. It connects the new waterfront square to the water and activates the water edge, offering flexibility for different uses, and productions.
A mid-level promontory that offers views across the water
Seating areas at all levels
Safe spaces for angling including an accessible space for young anglers
Large raised planters that rise and fall through a range of heights to integrate seamlessly into the landscape and include seating and playful elements such as walkways through the planting offering possibility for exploration and immersive environments for youngsters.
Planting that creates carefully considered framed views across the water
The peninsular of Surrey Quays is synonymous with maritime and dockland heritage. Canada Water was a dock used for the import of timber. Our design reflects this through the materials we have selected and how they will be used: the original form of Canada Water dock is integral to the design. Stacked timber seating in the amphitheatre reflects the floating timbers that were brought to land here. A repurposed docking bollard has been included in a pocket seating area.
Ecological connectivity to the wider landscape is key and we have been working with local ecology groups and stakeholders from early concept stages to create habitats and conditions appropriate for the local ecology and contribute to the local environment. As well as choosing planting from local provenance, we have also chosen climate resistant species. Planting has been chosen to maximise biodiversity while selecting locally important species for the ecology both above and below water. Extensive marginal planting creates habitats suitable for aquatic ecology. Above ground, the selected plants provide food and habitats for local species. Drought resistant trees have been selected. Our proposal includes a biodiversity net gain of 12.23% for the development, in excess of the base requirement of 10%.