Diverse and innovative firms shortlisted for final stage of Thamesmead Waterfront masterplanning competition

3 Feb 2021

A diverse and innovative group of architects and designers, with UK and international expertise, have made the shortlist to potentially become strategic masterplanners for the c.£8bn Thamesmead Waterfront development in southeast London.

They will now enter the final phase of a competition designed to appoint strategic masterplanners with the visionary and strategic ability to help shape an enormous new neighbourhood, which covers 100 hectares. If selected they will work alongside Peabody and Lendlease who have entered into a Joint Venture to plan and deliver a project that will create the brand new town centre, which will be designed to meet the challenges of the post-pandemic world.

The five teams that have been shortlisted include a superb mix of UK and international expertise from within businesses of all sizes. They are:

  • Allies and Morrison with Jas Bhalla Architects; SLA; Ramboll; Montagu Evans; and Frances Holliss – This group of architects, urbanists and planners are based in London and work in cities around the world. They have a reputation for designing characterful and sustainable pieces of city and are known for their work in regeneration, housing and community.
  • Prior + Partners (with Arup; West 8; The Place Bureau; Alison Brooks Architects; Turner Works; Marc Koehler Architects; JA Projects; Schulze+Grassov; Soundings; and Sage Culture) - P+P propose a creative and innovative, multi-disciplinary masterplan design and engagement team, with the purpose of creating a meaningful and successful new place at Thamesmead Waterfront. The team brings a strong understanding of the social, civic and environmental responsibility that lies at the heart of this opportunity and a rigorous approach to design delivery.
  • Studio Egret West & Cobe (with Dark Matter Labs; Studio Weave; Freehaus Design; Yinka Ilori Studio; AKTII; Hilson Moran; and Biomatrix Water) – Lead Designers Studio Egret West and Copenhagen based Cobe have forged a 50/50 collaboration, bringing together two practices that equally value the symbiosis of architecture, urban design and landscape. SEW have led the design of large-scale transformative projects across the UK and Cobe are the visionary lead designers of Nordhavn, the largest metropolitan development in Northern Europe. 
  • Urban Orchestra led by Tibbalds Planning and Urban Design, Mikhail Riches, Haptic and Expedition with Create Culture; Gardiner and Theobald; Gibson Thornley; GS Solutions;  Innovation First; Kjellander Sjöberg; LOLA; Madeleine Kessler Architects;  Mary Duggan Architects; Nick Elias Studio; Nordic – Office of Architecture; William Matthews Architects and ZCD Architects - The Urban Orchestra team is made up of range of innovative design and placemaking specialists. This international team is strong on collaboration and sustainability, and would bring extensive expertise across the built environment sector in creating new places with a clear purpose to support local people and grow their potential. 
  • White Arkitekter (Publica; Tredje Natur; Central Saint Martins; Public Works; Bohn & Viljoen; Buro Happold; GL Hearn; and Aurora) - White Arkitekter is an interdisciplinary practice with the mission to enable sustainable life through the art of architecture. Since being founded in Sweden by Sidney White in 1951, the practice has grown to an international collective of almost 800 staff. Their London Studio was founded in 2015 and since that time has applied an interdisciplinary approach to sustainable urban masterplans, high-quality affordable housing, state-of-the-art hospitals and award-winning cultural buildings.

Bek Seeley, Managing Director of Development for Lendlease in Europe, said: “We’ve been hugely impressed with the quality of the teams that have come forward. There is a superb mix of expertise from both the UK and overseas. And we’ve been particularly impressed with the smaller practices that are playing key roles within the shortlisted teams.”

All of the shortlisted teams will now be interviewed by a panel of external partners, curated by the Joint Venture partnership. Further details of the membership of the panel will be released in due course and a winner of the competition is expected to be announced in April.

Peabody Executive Director Thamesmead, John Lewis, said: “Thamesmead is a remarkable place and the project we are working on will require a remarkable team of masterplanners. Their task will be to help us deliver a scheme that will make a real difference to people’s lives. We’ve been very encouraged by the work we’ve seen so far and look forward to announcing a winning team later this year.  

Teams taking part in the competition were asked to submit expressions of interest which demonstrated the ability to understand, nurture and develop the principles of the Joint Venture vision:  

  • Natural living - Using and enhancing the existing landscape to create a unique natural destination for Thamesmead, London and the South-East - providing a place where people can unwind and find space to enjoy the natural world.   
  • A city neighbourhood - Providing the social infrastructure and workplaces to enable a resilient mixed-use neighbourhood with the choice, variety and opportunities of the best parts of London and the South-East. 
  • Better connections - Transforming connectivity into central London, including use of the river; connecting into the ‘Go East’ production corridor; and creating a legible, connected local network across Thamesmead. 
  • A safe, stable and sustainable community - Creating a place that people are proud of, through community ownership and participation. A place where you know your neighbours and your neighbourhood, where you feel safe and healthy. A place that is founded on robust stewardship and long-term viability. 
  • Inclusive and affordable for all - Making affordable but high-quality homes, workplaces and neighbourhoods, for a diverse community of people and  businesses, creating jobs and opportunities for all. 


ENDS