Design watchdog questions architect’s use of public space in Strand East masterplan

Design Council Cabe has expressed concerns about the amount of public space proposed as part of Ikea’s 1,200 home Strand East development on the fringes of the Olympic Park in east London.

The design watchdog reviewed architect Arc-ML’s masterplan for LandProp, Ikea’s development arm, saying that the “location of public, communal gardens and private spaces does not appear balanced across the site; in particular the spaces in the centre of the site appear constrained”.

It also said that “detailed consideration” should be given to the public park planned adjacent to the River Lee, including the character of the spaces and landscape treatment.

Meanwhile Design Council Cabe’s panel praised the massing of the predominantly low-rise scheme, which will also include offices, community facilities and a 350-bed hotel.

It highlighted the “slender nature and modest footprint” of the taller blocks, as well as a wooden tower sculpture which is currently under construction.

An outline planning application for the whole scheme, and detailed plans for phase one, have been submitted to the London Thames Gateway Development Corporation.