Thames riverside flats complete in Greenwich – a look at the site

A new block of flats facing the Thames recently completed in Greenwich and with hoardings removed, I took at trip to see how it looked.

London and Quadrant are behind the block with homes selling for up to £1 million. For such a prime site in a Word Heritage area the final finish is pretty poor. Panels on the exterior have odd gaps and attention to detail is lacking.

Double height ground floor is a plus

Pictures don’t exactly get across the variation in panel gaps across the facade and how they meet the paving. Not elegant design.

Clumsy treatment where panels reach the ground

It used to be said you could tell the quality of a new car by the exterior panels. Shoddy cars would have large and inconstant panel gaps. Nowadays pretty much every car has tiny, consistent gaps. Walking here brought that thought straight to mind.

Shoddy finish

Yes, yes, I’m not saying automated car production and new buildings are the same – but it does denote attention to detail and quality of production.

It’s not exactly a looker – though adjacent development may hide some of the grey plastic-looking cladding.

There’s also the public realm; is tarmac instead of paving slabs the best they could do in such an area?

Cycle path turning?

At first I thought it was due to a cycle lane turning away from the river, but when on the adjacent path there’s no sign of that. It appears the cheap option has been taken and this is a standard footway.

Done on the cheap. Electric charging points seen over the road

There’s also little in the way of greenery here and the street retains car parking along both sides. Some electric charging points were however in place.

Greenwich Council, being Greenwich, appear to have insisted on guardrail:

Not sure need for guardrail

No idea why it’s there but Greenwich like to install them despite the rest of the world moving the other way. See my recent post on road changes nearby on Creek Road. They said nothing about losing a bus lane and slower bus journeys in a consultation response but commented on retaining guardrail – even when proven to be dangerous.

A good example of such thinking is located beside this development. The authority installed railings at all four approaches to a junction after a pedestrian was hit by a car.

Courtesy Google. Cars parked where railings ended. People forced to walk in road

Instead of restricting vehicles in the area which would have assisted pedestrians, they installed railings which then forced pedestrians to walk in the road as car parking blocked crossings where railings ended. A “safety” measure which actually increased danger.

They have finally been removed.

Railings now gone so people can cross from path to path

But a few metres along and anti-pedestrian design appears again. More obstacles this time for those in wheelchairs and buggies.

Who signs this off?

This clumsy attempt to stop mopeds or cycles is negated by the fact that anyone on a moped could easily use other areas here, and hampering all people in wheelchairs and parents with buggies on the off chance a moped may ride here is simply stupid.

The way to solve moped issue is not to make life difficult for the disabled, elderly, wheelchair uses and other vulnerable pedestrians. And unless they install obstacles like this every 10 metres it solves nothing with moped use.

Side of new build – tarmac footway ends outside building

So is this development worthy of a world heritage site? A cheap looking building and minimal public realm work suggests not. L&Q havn’t excelled with a cheap finish to the building and I do hate criticising Greenwich Council for doing so little with surrounding public realm. I really do wish I could praise them far more but they are just so poor in so many ways. I will chalk up electric charging points and removing guardrail at the adjacent junction as positives, but really, must do better.

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J Smith

I've lived in south east London most of my life growing up in Greenwich borough and working in the area for many years. The site has contributors on occasion and we cover many different topics. Living and working in the area offers an insight into what is happening locally.

    One thought on “Thames riverside flats complete in Greenwich – a look at the site

    • Personally I think the building would have been better with a nice brick finish to be more in keeping with the other older blocks of flats adjacent to this site,


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