Work begins on London’s Royal Wharf Pier designed by Nex—

Work begins on London’s Royal Wharf Pier designed by Nex—
Royal Wharf Pier, designed by Nex—, aims to be a modern take on a traditional British seaside piers (Image: Royal Wharf)

Construction work has started on a new riverboat terminal, Royal Wharf Pier, which has been designed by London-based architectural firm Nex— as part of Ballymore and Oxley’s Royal Wharf regeneration project in London’s Royal Docks. 

Commissioned following an invited competition in 2016, Nex— has designed a contemporary pier that replace the currently derelict jetty and addresses the practical requirements of ferry operator MBNA Thames Clippers. This will allow the operator to provide a service to the more than 10,000 residents who will live in the 3,385 riverside properties being built by Ballymore and Oxley in the Royal Docks regeneration area. 

“In working with Ballymore and continuing our interest in connecting people to place, we saw an opportunity to combine new transport infrastructure with a distinctive new public space for London floating over the Thames,” said Alan Dempsey, director at Nex—. “The pier provides both residents of Royal Wharf and visitors with new access to the city, while also offering places to gather, sit and enjoy the remarkable views of the Millennium Park, Thames Barrier and Canary Wharf.” 

The fixed element of the pier will be an open space, reminiscent of British seaside piers and leads users to the 162 metre-squared viewing platform on the river. This will separate the public space from the floating gangway and pontoon of the MBNA Thames Clippers terminal. The pontoon will feature a sheltered waiting area with integrated furniture and displays. 

The shelter’s layout will increase the surrounding open space, allowing boats to dock easily and providing more space for passengers. The structural elements supporting the pier will be concealed behind timber battens to give the impression of a floating platform. 

“Major new infrastructure like our Royal Wharf pier is a game-changer for east London’s connectivity – for north to south of the river, and into central London,” said John Mulryan, group managing director at Ballymore. “Non-road travel is an essential part of the sustainability and growth of London’s commuter network, and this pier will soon be a part of that. Nex— has done an incredible job on the design, which we reveal in further detail today in these new images. Now that construction is underway, the vision is one step closer to being realised.”

Royal Wharf Pier is expected to open in late 2019. 

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Elly Yates-Roberts
By Elly Yates-Roberts
Friday, January 11, 2019