Canada Water Masterplan

British Land
London Borough of Southwark
Townshend Landscape Architects are part of the masterplan team to design the public realm as part of a hybrid planning application. The 21 ha site sits between Surrey Quays and Canada Water as an 'Opportunity area' which designates it as one of London's key growth areas, providing significant news homes and jobs.

The area covers Surrey Quays Shopping Centre, Surrey Quays Leisure Park, and the SE16 Printworks, it also incorporates part of Canada Water Dock. The development will create a new urban centre for the area with a wide range of uses including offices, retail, leisure, community and public spaces as well as new homes for a range of ages, incomes and life stages. Overall, the development is expected to deliver up to 3,000 new homes, two million sq ft of workspace and one million sq ft of retail, leisure, entertainment and community space.
Public Realm Masterplan Development
The development will create a new high street as well as six new public spaces, 16 new streets and lanes. Most routes are pedestrian and cycle-focused and the streets providing a variety of experiences throughout the development. A new pedestrian route will form a green link between Russia Dock Woodland and Southwark Park with activities and play integrated amongst the trees and planting. The Dock Office courtyard will become a new community square as part of the construction of the first detailed plots, there will be a new town square and a new park which will connect many routes through the site.
The vision for Canada Water Masterplan is to create a vibrant, inclusive, mixed-use urban centre. Place-making is at the heart of the Masterplan vision, with a public realm that brings together a network of carefully considered, locally distinct public squares, parks and streets, each with a distinct character, use and identity. The robust and high quality public realm will strengthen connections to existing neighbourhoods, and promote an urban environment where the quality of life and the quality of the environment are integral. The spaces will be animated places that people will enjoy, want to spend time and feel safe in. With an emphasis on health, wellbeing, sports and play, Canada Water will become a distinctive destination that makes a lasting contribution to the people who live, work and visit the area.
Nature and the ecology of existing surrounding green and blue spaces are important assets to draw into the public realm proposals. The public realm has been designed to bring us closer together to each other and with nature, helping to create a sociable and sustainable place.
Improve Connectivity:
The key for creating a successful public realm is providing a movement network with a highly interconnected, legible and 'people friendly' open spaces. Accessibility and permeability is encouraged by linking the existing routes and the wider network.
Reflect Canada Water's qualities and distinctive character:
The public realm plays a key role in defining the 'image' of the new Masterplan. The public space influences the perception of the area and affects desires to live, work and visit these places. The design is aimed to reinforce the existing identity of Canada Water and invest in quality of design and materials to create a distinct and positive character.
Health and well-being (social interaction):
A healthy public realm creates healthy communities (socially, environmentally and economically). The design considers the strong relationship between quality of life and access to open spaces. In particular the public realm is designed to encourage opportunities to walk, cycle and use public transport in a friendly and safe environment.
Be simple, consistent and high quality:
The public realm requires high quality components, materials and design to create a simple and unifying element of the development. Proposals will respond to the character of the area to create and reinforce hierarchy, a sense of place and legibility through the development.
Be active and multi-purpose and provide amenity:
A vibrant public realm is not just the result of quality design, but the way in which a place encourages and creates opportunities for activity. The buildings and the public realm will work together to provide a variety of uses and spaces where people can interact and engage with the public realm in a variety of ways.
Be Accessible and inclusive:
Movement through the public realm should be easy, pleasurable and intuitive for everyone. Street and spaces are designed to be inclusive. The aim is to create safe and accessible environments for all members of the community and visitors, where everyone can participate equally and independently in everyday activities.
Key Spaces
The Dock
The vision is to re-imagine the Dock at Canada Water as a new public space for London.

The aim is to create a new 'City Park' where people and nature are better connected, to inspire interest in ecology and natural history and celebrate Canada Water at the heart of an emerging Town Centre destination. The Dock is strongly related to the identity of Canada Water and is an opportunity to bring together the industrial heritage of the area as well as a unique ecological experience in the city.

The Dock will be a new park in which everyone will be able to enjoy the high quality green spaces proposed, and be able to engage with the water. It will be a 'Park' that is rich with wildlife and in which every adult and child benefits from exploring, playing and learning outdoors.
The Park
The Park is a key public space providing a mix of uses for all. The Park has been designed as a lively green space for people to enjoy all year round. The Park will provide a significant amount of green space with a strong relationship with the ground floor uses of buildings that surround it.

Multifunctional areas within the Park mean that uses can be layered to extend the use of particular area to multiple activities and demographics e.g. areas for skating, which can also be used for basketball etc. A range of activities for all ages will help create mixed use communities that allow different members of families to participate and be active. Mixing of different ages within the Park also contributes to promoting health, well-being and community cohesion.

Children's play will be encouraged throughout the Park and the wider public realm. There will be informal 'playable' features as well as formal adventure play areas.
The Paper Garden
Townshend Landscape Architects have been working with Global Generation to develop the 'Paper Garden'.

Global Generation is an educational charity, which works together with local children and young people, businesses, residents and families to create healthy, integrated and environmentally responsible communities. The Paper Garden is currently based in the former Printworks building and they are involved in making furniture out of paper, growing things in paper and telling stories with paper is a way of celebrating the industrial history of Canada Water.
The concept of the Paper Garden has been developed from the early stages of the public realm design to provide the opportunity for people to volunteer and get involved help build essential bonds with other people. Designing the public realm in a way that brings us closer together, such as siting in a circle in the yurt, or coming together at a table to share food together or involving young people in the planting will help create sociable places.
Design team:
Architect (masterplan): Allies and Morrison
Architect (Plot A1 and A2): Allies and Morrison
Architect (Plot K1): Duggan Morris
Planning Consultant: DP9
Project Managers: AECOM
Infrastructure Engineer: Watermans
Highways Engineer: ARUP
Quantity Surveyor: AECOM
Lighting Consultant: Speirs and Major
Wildlife Consultant: London Wildlife Trust
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