Canary Wharf Walking Tour
We'll discuss the architecture of Canary Wharf and the Docklands transformation on this futuristic tour of London's newest financial centre.
Join the Architecture Foundation for a walking tour exploring Canary Wharf. Following 30 years of rapid development on the Isle of Dogs, London’s epic new financial quarter is embarking on its latest large-scale expansion.
Formerly a kennel for Henry VIII’s hunting hounds – the marshy Isle of Dogs was drained and transformed into an industrial landscape during the later nineteenth century. As London became the pre-eminent centre of global trade – the enormous West India, Millwall and Blackwall docks were carved into the terrain, kick-starting a legacy of innovative commercial architecture.
Containerisation in the late 1970s and the far eastern manufacturing boom then saw London’s former docks and waterside industries transformed into wasteland. Amid a national debate on its future, the vast ‘Docklands’ area stretching from the Tower of London to Tilbury was at one point destined for expansive low-rise housing and open park land.
By a stroke of chance however Credit Suisse and developer Olympia & York grasped its potential for a new financial district and the government of the day leapt on the opportunity for renewal.
The island’s centuries of isolation ended when a new Docklands Light railway opened in 1987 and millions of pounds were poured into landscaping the ruined quays.
Scandinavian house builders were invited to deliver low cost homes for sale to workers and landmark developments such as CZWG’s Cascades shot up at record speeds.Fast forward to the present property boom and with the arrival of Crossrail a fresh wave of high-rise development is taking place, bringing new residential towers which promise to dwarf their waterfront predecessors.
Key schemes in this emerging landcape include Norman Foster’s new Crossrail station, HOK’s 67-storey Hertsmere House and Herzog and de Meuron’s Wood Wharf residential skyscraper.
Investigate life and work in London’s high-tech, high-security financial utopia. Witness the layers of development and evaluate the latest plans for the island’s future.
The tour will last for two hours, beginning at West India Quay DLR, and ending at Canary Wharf Underground Station.
Start: West India Quay DLR
End: Canary Wharf Station
This tour is wheelchair and buggy accessible
There will be a comfort break halfway through the walking tour