Like Limehouse Basin, Ocean Wharf is developed by a suburban housebuilder new to high density inner-city schemes. In this case the developer is Furlong Homes, which picked Jestico + Whiles and Partners out of a shortlist supplied by the former London Docklands Development Corporation.
For the narrow riverfront site on the Isle of Dogs, Jestico + Whiles came up with a 12-storey tower on the riverfront, and a seven-storey slab stretching inland. The elliptical tower is split longitudinally by a concrete sheer wall with one flat on either side. The seven-storey slab looks diagonally out to the river across a public park. The styling is crisp and modern, with the tower faced in white render, and the rectangular block faced in yellow brick alternating with panels of coloured render.
The tower has a graceful presence on the riverfront, although, in retrospect, Jestico + Whiles' associate Heinz Richardson admits that a few extra storeys would have made a more effective bookend to the neighbouring schemes. Another weakness is that the boxy lift motor roof protrudes above the streamlined form of the tower.
As for Furlong, the scheme proved so irresistible to investors in Hong Kong that it bought the neighbouring site, on which it is currently finishing off another group of slab blocks enclosing two courtyards for parking.
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Developer Furlong Homes Architect Jestico + Whiles and Associates Structural Engineer Jenkins & Potter Services Engineer Whitecode Design Associates