Blackwall Reach 02
© Swan Housing Group

Blackwall Reach

As part of the high-profile, £ 500 million redevelopment of the Robin Hood Gardens Estate in East London, we are working alongside architects Karakusevic Carson to deliver Phase 1B, comprising around 250 high-quality residential units, predominantly private, across three separate blocks (G, H and L) in the south-east corner of the site. 

Situated between the main thoroughfares of the East India Dock Road and Aspen Way and with the entrance to the Blackwall Tunnel nearby, the existing 1960s concrete blocks are being removed and replaced with over 1,500 new homes. Buildings due for demolition on this portion of the site include a Victorian church hall, newer warehouses and a community building. Prior to its industrial usage the site is known to have been home to a number of Victorian terraces. 

This variety of building types and the associated time-span requires extensive investigation works to establish the scope of foundations and the nature of basements below the current structures. Services cross the site, proximity to rail lines requires liaison with DLR, and sewers run beneath all three blocks; further surveys will be necessary to ascertain their exact routes. 

The three new blocks will not incorporate basement levels, and foundations comprise an RC raft beneath the central cores, and will be designed to bridge across the sewers where necessary. The Blackwall Tunnel also forms a major constraint for Blocks H and L in particular, and works will require further consultation with TfL to ensure the tunnel infrastructure is not affected. Block L, for example, oversails the Blackwall Tunnel in one corner, and incorporates a cantilever so as to avoid the use of obstructive foundations here. 

In terms of superstructure, the blocks varied between 10 and 24 storeys; we utilised concrete throughout, combining flat slabs with perimeter columns to allow flexibility of internal layout. Inset balconies form continuations of the floor slabs, with no thermal break. 

Phased redevelopment of the huge Robin Hood Gardens estate in East London

London, UK
Swan Housing Group
Karakusevic Carson