Spain's Calatrava makes UK debut on £1bn scheme

2 February 2017

Peninsula Place (Courtesy of Knight Dragon)

Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava has unveiled a £1bn development to transform Greenwich Peninsula in south London – the site of the Millennium Dome – which will host a new tube station, performance venue and winter gardens topped by a crown-like arrangement of towers.

The 130,064 sq m scheme backed by developer by Knight Dragon is Calatrava’s first major UK project.

Calatrava said: “It is an honour to be designing such a piece of the fabric of London, a city I love. In designing this scheme, I have been inspired by London’s rich architectural heritage and the very special geography of the Peninsula.”

Three tapering towers will stand atop a tube and bus station, theatre, cinema, bars, shops and a performance venue. The illuminated terraced blocks will house offices, apartments and hotels with views of the River Thames, as well as winter gardens below.

Visitors and residents will emerge from the tube station into a 24m-high glazed gallery containing the gardens.

Above: Peninsula Place from Meridian Quays (Courtesy of Knight Dragon). Below right: The Galleria (Courtesy of Knight Dragon)

A new tubular bridge featuring latticed sides will connect the development with the waterfront. Cables will anchor the bridge to a tall spike, reminiscent of that found on the architect’s Chord Bridge in Jerusalem.

Calatrava’s Peninsula Place forms part of a £8.4bn regeneration scheme on the riverside site, which is to include 15,720 homes, a film studio, as well as a new design district, schools, offices and healthcare services.

Greenwich Peninsula is masterplanned by Allies & Morrison, which will also design two residential blocks for the site. Together with Calatrava’s tower scheme, they will host 800 homes – just 200 of which will be considered affordable.

Calatrava’s Peninsula Place is intended as a gateway to the wider development, where architects, including US firm SOM, British architects Marks Barfield, DSDHA, Alison Brooks and Duggan Morris, have also been commissioned to design buildings.

“My ambition is for Greenwich Peninsula to be a unique cultural destination for Londoners and visitors to this global city,” said Sammy Lee of Knight Dragon. “Calatrava’s contribution will help ensure that the UK’s biggest regeneration project fulfils its potential to become just that.”

Calatrava is also the architect behind the Oculus, which soars above the World Trade Center Transportation Hub in New York, and the cantilevering Museum of Tomorrow in Rio de Janeiro.

The winter garden (Courtesy of Knight Dragon)

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