London City Island: National recognition for landmark site
You would think that creating a whole new London landmark neighbourhood would be enough of a challenge in itself – but Martin O’Byrne, a Ballymore project manager at London City Island, together with his team, took everything in their stride and won a coveted NHBC Pride in the Job Award into the bargain for their site on the Leamouth peninsula by Canary Wharf.
This spectacular joint development by Ballymore and Ecoworld includes 1,700 residential units and 20,000 square metres of office space together with a range of cafes, shops, restaurants and cultural facilities – soon to include specially constructed headquarters for the English National Ballet.
The 12 acre site, surrounded by water and connected by a specially-commissioned bridge, takes inspiration from the best elements from metropolitan islands across the world and includes 13 major buildings ranging from three to 27 storeys. The development combines bold architecture and pioneering landscape design to create a spectacular landmark in riverside living.
“We were surprised, proud and very happy to win the award,” said Martin O’Byrne, who also won an NHBC Pride in the Job Award in 2008 on a Ballymore site (he has worked for the company for 18 years).
He puts his success down to maintaining quality at all times and having the right site team, together with good communication and the backing of project leader Tony Martin, who has been “particularly supportive.”
“Major credit, of course, goes to the team – the award could not have been won without them,” said Kevin.
Speaking of the construction, he said: “We are using a Dutch pre-cast system comprising a full brick outer leaf, a cavity and concrete inner leaf, with all the internal core walls and stairs also being of pre cast construction, which gives us factory-produced precision quality and shortens the construction time by two weeks.
“It’s a bit like building a small town. Having such a large team on site is something of a logistical challenge. Other key elements are good housekeeping – having a tidy site with no obstructions such as debris, with clear walkways and good access.”
The colours of the Islands are not just eye-catching, but link specifically to the local area, replicating pigments used throughout Leamouth’s history of artisan and maritime production. Echoes of these colours can be found a little to the south at Trinity Buoy Wharf lighthouse, which is also the source of the distinctive crisscross ‘Faraday Cage’ pattern that is found throughout the Island, and was named after the electrical scientist, Michael Faraday, who used the lighthouse for his historic experiments.
The project, which commenced in spring 2014, is due for completion in May 2019.