Budget-busting World Trade Center station designer lined up for major London scheme

The firm behind the ongoing regeneration of south-east London’s Greenwich Peninsula is set to unveil a £1 billion project by Spanish-born architect Santiago Calatrava, it has emerged.

Invitations to the launch of the scheme, described as “at the heart of Greenwich Peninsula”, state that London mayor Sadiq Khan will discuss the “significance” of the project for the capital and its residents on February 2.

In May last year Victoria Hills, chief executive of the Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation, said she believed the west London regeneration area needed a “world class architect” like Calatrava to design the area’s centrepiece rail hub.

Citing Calatrava’s World Trade Center Transportation Hub in New York as a “cathedral” she also accepted that OPDC was unlikely to be able to afford the architect.

Famed as a visionary, Calatrava’s projects have some track record of exceeding their budgets. The New York station, which opened last year, came in at more than $1 billion above its anticipated cost.

His City of Arts and Sciences building in his native Valencia came in at a final cost of €1 billion, reputedly four times its original budget.

Knight Dragon’s current vision for the Greenwich Peninsula involves the delivery of 15,000 new homes, plus leisure opportunities and workspace across seven neighbourhoods.

It is based on an updated masterplan drawn up by Allies & Morrison and approved by Royal Borough of Greenwich planners in 2015.

The peninsula, which covers 259 hectares, is a designated “opportunity area” in the current London Plan, which earmarks it to provide a minimum of 13,500 new homes.