We are pleased to advise construction has begun on the Royal Wharf Pier – a brand new riverboat terminal in collaboration with MBNA Thames Clipper to provide both Royal Wharf residents and visitors with a fantastic transport option, providing connections to both Central and West London.
Designed by London-based Architects Nex, Royal Wharf Pier will be one of the most distinctive pier’s incorporating a large new public space on the Thames with unique river views.
Commissioned following an invited competition in 2016, Nex— were selected for their innovative response to the site’s unusual constraints, creating a solution that harnesses infrastructure as an integral part of valuable public realm. As a result, Royal Wharf Pier uses strikingly contemporary design to replace an existing derelict jetty, addressing the practical requirements of MBNA Thames Clippers’ traffic while also providing a unique and generous public space that can be enjoyed by all.
The fixed element of the pier acts as a linear open space, reminiscent of traditional British seaside piers. This frames long, straight views towards the horizon, and leads users onto a 162m2 viewing platform set upon the river. Featuring integrated seating and elegantly finished with durable marine grade timber, this is a generous and peaceful space that invites people to linger, relax and admire the unique views up and down the Thames.
The viewing platform separates the linear public realm from the floating gangway and pontoon of the MBNA Thames Clippers terminal through distinct angles in the pier’s design, making this appear seemingly infinite from the river edge. Here the pontoon’s sheltered waiting area comprises a second timber ‘island’ – with integrated furniture and displays – enclosed in a metal shell, providing warmth and protection from the elements.
The shelter’s design showcases a playful and contemporary response to more traditional pier design. The elevations are based on a regular rectangular form, cut and folded to align with the angles established by the pier’s path into the river. Similarly, a skewed and cut back roofline slopes to direct views down the river towards Canary Wharf and The O2. The layout creates increased open space around the shelter, allowing boats to dock easily and providing ample space for passengers. The large structural elements supporting the pier are concealed behind diagonal timber battens, enhancing an impression of weightless floating.
The Pier will be accessible from the riverside promenade and is anticipated to open to the public in late 2019.