230-metre Isle of Dogs tower at Ensign House in for planning

An application has been made for a 230 metre tower on Marsh Wall at the Isle of Dogs opposite Canary Wharf.

And miracle upon miracles, it’s not a box with a flat roof. The bulk of the tower is 205 metres with a spire of 25 metres above. The tower, on the site of Ensign House, will include 495 flats.

Spire evident

The application states: “We were inspired by the approach taken by traditional tall buildings and American skyscrapers and the way in which they celebrate the top of the building with a striking silhouette”.

Here’s the potential view from Greenwich:

View from Greenwich

While it may not be a stunner, I’m so bored of flat topped boxes in Canary Wharf (and across London) this comes as a welcome relief. It’s so bloody dull.

Design evolution

Cladding is predominantly two shades of bronze.


Horizontal banding at lower levels gives way to a strong vertical emphasis.

View from Canary Wharf Jubilee station

The site sits directly next and below the DLR line between Heron Quays and South Quay Plaza. Ensign House occupies the space, which is a 1980’s six storey office building.

Car park below and beside viaduct will be opened

The car park will be removed for a small pocket park and improved permeability.

Public realm

Let’s hope some investment finally occurs on the wider area and Marsh Wall which is a bit of mess and seen next to no investment from Tower Hamlets despite a plethora of towers long its length.

Marsh Wall

The structure is legacy of those early 1980s redevelopments with car parking still evident on much of the site. Directly next door is another plan for a tower, at Quay House.

Quay House on far right of image. Ensign tower to left

That was approved in January 2020 with revision now sought, including the height of building being reduced to 35 storeys.

At Ensign House, “affordable” housing is proposed from level 6 to 20 with private from 21 to 55.

The lower five floors are allocated to lobbies and flexible units, amenity and playspace, cycle stores and air source heat pumps.


The site sits near a large number of amenities, including two DLR stations. With additional trains due from 2024 enhancing capacity, needing a car isn’t necessary. What is needed is that planned new pedestrian bridge over south dock.

In addition, it’s a great shame the planned pedestrian bridge to Rotherhithe was scrapped. A replacement ferry has been mooted.

Click here to view and comment upon these plans.



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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 “230-metre Isle of Dogs tower at Ensign House in for planning

  • Looks good – really like the spire, adds a nice addition to the skyline.


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