Residential phase of Straford Waterfront set to start construction in 2026

Howells and O’Donnell & Tuomey’s plans for the four-tower residential phase of the huge Stratford Waterfront development in east London have finally been given the green light.

Detailed consent has been granted for the 700-home scheme at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, designed for a 50:50 joint venture between developer Ballymore and the London Legacy Development Corporation.

It comes five years after the outline application for the wider mixed-use development at the park’s East Bank site, which is now nearing completion, was first approved.

The wider Allies & Morrison-designed masterplan, one of the biggest regeneration projects in the country, already includes east London outposts for the V&A museum and Sadler’s Wells, both of which have also been designed by O’Donnell & Tuomey.

The practice is behind the scheme’s tallest residential building, a 27-storey tower known as the Prow, which will act as a ‘marker’ for the neighbourhood at the northern end of the site.

The other three towers have been designed by Howells, which was brought in to oversee the detailed design of the outline masterplan which originally consisted of two 47-storey towers designed by Allies & Morrison before these proposals were scaled back due to their impact on views of St Paul’s Cathedral.

The facades of the four towers have been given a palette of earthy colours to match with the wider East Bank development, which aims to reflect the manufacturing and industrial heritage of the area.

Multiple cafes and restaurants, a gym, community spaces and workspace will also be provided in the towers at ground level along a south-facing waterfront promenade on the park’s Waterworks river.

Ballymore development director Simon Ryan said: “East Bank is transforming Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park with the most ambitious cultural project in a generation.

“This site demanded new homes of design excellence, in keeping with the bar that has already been set by our cultural and academic partners and neighbours and the site’s most incredible setting by the water and on the park.”

Construction of the towers is scheduled to start in spring 2026 and complete in late 2029.

East Bank also includes a hub for the BBC and the London College of Fashion for the University of the Arts London, both of which have been designed by Allies & Morrison.