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Ailsa Wharf


Ailsa Wharf will regenerate one of the last remaining brownfield sites in Tower Hamlets, transforming a heavily contaminated 2.5ha tract of land next to the River Lea which has laid barren and unused for many years. Situated between a busy urban motorway and the river, the key to unlocking this site has been to change the perception of it, from post-industrial wasteland to new urban quarter. The site has complex land ownership issues which have held back various other attempts to bring it forward since 2003.

Our proposals will create a vibrant mixed-use hub of new homes, offices, retail and leisure facilities in 13 buildings varying between 3 and 17 storeys set within significant areas of new public realm.

Designed to improve permeability, a welcoming link is created through the site to a new riverwalk, alongside the potential for a new footbridge across Bow Creek linking Tower Hamlets to Newham.

The concept creates three character areas, each with a distinct identity: a commercial ‘buffer’ building to the A12 finished in red brick with terracotta louvres announces the development, mid-rise light brown brick courtyard buildings reinstate an enhanced street pattern and three taller, angular buildings in grey brickwork with a white aluminium frame sit in a waterside setting.

Homes range in size from studios and one bedroom apartments to four bedroom townhouses, all with outstanding amenity, aspect and excellent standards of living accommodation. 35% of homes will be affordable housing.

Project information
  • Client:
    Ailsa Wharf Developments
  • Location:
    Poplar, London
  • Planning consent authority:
    London Borough of Tower Hamlets
  • Planning consent:
  • Scope:
    782 new homes, 2,000sqm commercial space and public realm
  • Awards:
    Planning Awards 2018 – Best Use of Brownfield Land in Placemaking – Shortlisted
  • Images:
    Blackpoint Design

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