Another day, another ambitious architecture project championed by Mayor of London Boris Johnson. The mayor's office recently revealed that consortium Carillion Igloo Genesis has won a competition to design and build the UK's first floating village at the Royal Victoria Dock, East London.
Situated next to the Emirates Air Line we reported on back in 2012, the floating village in the Royal Victoria Dock is part of an overall plan to transform all three of East London's historic Royal Docks into a large upmarket business district. If it goes ahead, the village will span an area covering 15 acres (6 hectares), and include homes, restaurants, cafes, bars, and an ice rink.
Carillion Igloo Genesis aims to use the same building technology currently being used for a development in Ijburg, the Netherlands, where floating villages and structures are far more common. This involves anchoring residential and non-residential units in place by a series of concrete piles. The structures would be connected to the dock by a bridge.
The consortium also includes Professor Alex de Rijke, who recently presented studies on floating villages to the Venice Architecture Biennale.
"This site has the potential to become one of the most sought after addresses in the capital while breathing new life back into London’s waterways," enthused Mayor Johnson.
However, before the proposal goes ahead, a planning application must first be submitted to, and approved by, Newham Council (Newham is the London borough in which the village would be located). The prospects for this may yet prove bleak, as the London Evening Standard recently quoted Newham Mayor Sir Robin Wales referring to the project as a "yuppie ghetto."