The Cheval Group’s Three Quays project is located in a prime position, on a heavily constrained Thames waterfront site, between the Tower of London and Sugar Quay. The mixed use development offers private and serviced apartments over nine floors, retail accommodation at ground level, and plant, servicing facilities and some parking in the basement. In addition to providing structural engineering for the new concrete frame building, our engineers provided transport consultancy.
Originally occupied by three Victorian buildings, the site is within an area of known archaeological interest. Findings proved richer than anticipated and took six months to process. They also resulted in alterations to the foundation design to avoid a Roman wall. To enable construction, a king post temporary retaining wall was installed along the north and east site boundaries to support the highway and perimeter wall of the Tower of London. To the west, a party wall agreement was negotiated with Sugar Quay. Consents were granted by the Environment Agency for works on the riverfront. Height restrictions were also imposed.
To maximise accommodation, the new basement extends right to the site boundaries, giving it a square footprint. The concrete substructure is water and vapour proof to Enhanced Level 2 standard, enabling plant to be housed in the basement. Limited parking is provided, with vehicles gaining access via a ramp from Lower Thames Street.
The footprint of the ground floor retail area is almost oval in shape and the nine storeys above form a curvy horseshoe, to maximise river views at each level. The top three floors step back to form terraces, and the roof features a steel frame penthouse apartment and supports a building maintenance unit.
The balconies around the building are randomly offset to reduce massing and allow the balcony floors to be carved from the main slab perimeters. This irregular arrangement, along with the curvaceous form of the structure, contributes to a geometrically complex internal layout. The whole building is clad in unitised curtain walling and provides 61 residential units, 97 serviced apartments and 930 sq m of retail. The ground floor public realm area is home to an installation by sculptor William Pye.