Royal Albert Docks

Royal Albert Docks

The ‘Royals’ – the Royal Victoria, Royal Albert and King George V Docks – were the largest and most modern of London’s dock complexes and the last to close.  The last ship left the docks in 1980, leaving a vast tract of land and water - over 400 hectares – available for development.  The area stretched from Barking to the Isle of Dogs, comparable to the distance between the Houses of Parliament and Tower Bridge.

Key to RRP’s masterplan for the Royal Docks was the creation of an effective public transport system, in order to facilitate the creation of an area of international importance that would generate investment and employment.  RRP’s design strategy also included services, landscape, development nodes and a clear public domain, alongside major commercial developments – all vital components of what would be a ‘unique water-side city’. 

Initially, only the infrastructure for this vast scheme were realised, but RRP was subsequently commissioned by developers Rosehaugh Stanhope to design a major mixed use development along the Royal Albert Dock and adjacent to London’s City Airport.  Bordering the 2.5 km long dock, the scheme culminated in a great glazed galleria arcing around a marina.  Intended to be the most impressive shopping centre in Europe, the scheme offered a spectacular vista along the entire length of the Royals.  Based on the concept of a dynamic public domain, with tented structures along the waterside housing restaurants and other leisure activities, the development was designed as the commercial magnet for the entire Royals complex but the faltering economy of the late 1980s meant that this great civic scheme was abandoned.

Location London, England
Type Masterplanning
Dates 1986
Client Rosehaugh Stanhope Developments
The Architect Richard Rogers Partnership
Laurie Abbott, Graham Anthony, Kieran Breen, Philip Chalmers, Tim Colquhoun, Mike Davies, Marco Goldschmied, Philip Gumuchdjian, Ivan Harbour, Shahab Kasmai-Tehran, Avtar Lotay, Ernest Lowinger, Andrew Morris, Tom Nugent, Andrew Partridge, Robert Peebles, Mark Roche, Richard Rogers, Stephen Spence, Andrew Tyley, John Young
Civil Engineer Ove Arup & Partners
Construction Consultant Schal
Geotechnical Engineer Ove Arup & Partners
Landscape Architect Hanna Olin Limited
Quantity Surveyor Gardiner & Theobald
Retail Consultant Edward Erdman
Structural Engineer Ove Arup & Partners

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