Greenwich Peninsula developer Knight Dragon has announced plans to replace the Foster-designed North Greenwich interchange with a high-profile development by architect Santiago Calatrava. The proposed Peninsula Place scheme retains the station concourse and platforms below and would see visitors emerge from the London Underground into a new 24m high glass arcade housing a "winter garden” that leads onto a 152m long galleria. Above, three towers rising 30 stories, with office space, a hotel, serviced apartments and new homes, will step back to form terraces.
The current North Greenwich station was completed in 1998, ahead of the Jubilee Line Extension launch and opening of the Millennium Dome. The station effectively backs onto the currently vacant Meridian Quays site, whereas new plans seek to open the interchange up to both sides of the Peninsula and take advantage of the potential floor space above.
The 130,000 sqm development already has outline planning permission as part of the Greenwich Peninsula 2015 Masterplan, which envisions a redeveloped transport hub within a new district centre. At 30 stories (113m), Calatrava's three proposed towers will stand taller than The O2's 100m masts, and are just short of height restrictions dictated by London City Airport.
Knight Dragon is expected to submit a detailed planning application for the project to Royal Borough of Greenwich (RBG) later in 2017. Site exploration work has begun already, and the developer hopes to break ground this year and complete in 2022.
A Calatrava-designed footbridge will lead from the galleria at Peninsula Place to a new park at the future Meridian Quays development site, spanning three busy roads: Millennium Way, the southbound entrance to the Blackwall Tunnel and Tunnel Avenue. The mast of the bridge will peak on the meridian line, creating a giant sundial around the park.
The tube station is expected to be renamed to Greenwich Peninsula and will remain open during construction work of the new arrival hall. Commuters will use a temporary entrance on the east of Peninsula Square that leads into the station concourse below, which was designed by architects Alsop, Lyall and Störmer.
The project already faces its first hurdle as The Twentieth Century Society submitted a bid to list current interchange, which features a 12m high curving canopy spanning 160m, in an attempt to save it from demolition. The group want to see the existing buildings granted Grade-II listed status as "outstanding examples of late-20th-century infrastructure buildings."
Knight Dragon's revised Greenwich Peninsula Masterplan, drawn up by architects Allies & Morrison and approved by RBG in December 2015, grants outline planning permission for ambitious plans to be developed over a 15 to 20-year timeframe. The entire Greenwich Peninsula project, based on various evolutions of the Masterplan, will see some 15,700 homes built, of which a minimum of 25% will be 'affordable homes'.
New Peninsula Place proposals are the first to be put forward for the Peninsula Central neighbourhood, earmarked to provide up to 1,460 homes, 20% (292) 'affordable'.
Peninsula Place by Calatrava and two residential buildings by Greenwich Peninsula's Masterplanners Allies & Morrison (for which we haven't yet seen any details) will provide 800 new homes, 25% (200) 'affordable'. The others are expected to be delivered in several mixed-use blocks surrounding the transport hub, including a number of residential towers atop a new 2000-space multi-storey car park for The O2.
Calatrava's footbridge will lead from Peninsula Place to the currently vacant Meridian Quays neighbourhood. A new jetty and Clipper river stop will link the Peninsula to Canary Wharf. The Masterplan envisions a further 5,853 homes at Meridian Quays, overlooking Canary Wharf. An agreement to provide additional affordable housing in the Lower Riverside area of the Peninsula (struck in 2013 with the RBG Council) allows the developer to build only full market priced homes on six plots at Meridian Quays.
Initial proposals for Peninsula Place make no mention of AEG's ambitions for a small plot south of The O2. New models still show earlier plans for an eight-storey office block. AEG's latest proposals, submitted to RBG in late 2015, would create 395 homes (80 'affordable') in two tower blocks rising 10- and 36-stories. AEG's scheme must now be considered alongside Knight Dragon's Calatrava proposals. At 120m, AEG's proposals exceed maximum heights approved in the surrounding the '2015 Masterplan' area, where Knight Dragon proposes heights of up to 113.5m at Peninsula Central. Calatrava's proposals are said to reach 112.7m, meaning AEG's tower would stand slightly taller.
masterplan Zone A
Peninsula Central and its neighbouring Meridian Quays site lie within Zone A of the Greenwich Peninsula Masterplan 2015, for which Knight Dragon submitted a request for an 'environmental screening opinion' to RBG Council in October 2016. The developer is expected to submit a Zonal Masterplan in 2017. Soon after, a detailed planning application is expected for specific plots relating Peninsula Place.
Knight Dragon's proposed phasing of the 2015 Masterplan (submitted to RBG in April 2016, awaiting a decision) shows that plots within Zone A will be developed at different times. Work on Phase 1 is expected to begin soon with four residential blocks and a new school. Peninsula Central and the bridge constitute Phase 2: "The development of Plots 6 and 7 will see the delivery of the new bus station and the mixed-use development at Peninsula Place, together with the pedestrian bridge link. This phase will also see the widening of Central Park and the realignment of West Parkside."