Unlike many architects who aspire to live in a period property or design and build their own stand-alone house, I’ve chosen to make my London home within an apartment building designed by our practice.
I opted for the 19th floor for its very direct relationship and proximity to the activity and life of the city below, together with its almost contradictory ability to transcend the melee and afford a retreat.
Image: Waking up to the South Dock vista bathed in the early morning east light is a joy, the reflected light rendering my mini Manhattan glowing and alive in a way that the night time electrified version cannot rival.
Orientation is of course key. Dollar Bay focuses on the southern/westerly aspect, maximising sunlight, well acknowledged for lifting the spirit. At times it brings surprises too. Waking up to the South Dock vista bathed in the early morning east light is a joy, the reflected light rendering my mini Manhattan glowing and alive in a way that the night time electrified version cannot rival.
This interaction between light and materiality of built form is magical especially in the context of alternative snatched and static views towards the more traditionally photogenic Thames Barrier and The Queens House and Observatory at Greenwich. Glimpses back towards Dollar Bay also raise the pulse. As I emerge, homeward bound from 1 Canada Square and step forward to the footbridge, I’m always keen to pick up on the mood of the day or night, or rather that moment, each unique condition expressed so fluently within its façade, the impact of which extends and reinforces my sense of belonging in this context.
Image: The interaction between light and materiality of built form is magical.
The rich layering and depth of the building’s fully glazed twin skin envelope blurs the internal/external threshold by means of the winter garden. A glorious transitional space into which I seamlessly extend my life in the warmer months and from which I’m able to retreat during inclemency. The transparency of the building’s frontage is consistent with the openness and generosity of the interior – the democratic inclusion of affordable housing, the sense of space and liberation, the multiple aspects, the facets and indents capturing unexpected outlooks, the coherence of the open ended circulation, and the legibility of both the detail and form.
A serene, honest and calm place to call home, I love it and it appears others do too.
Image: The winter garden, a glorious transitional space into which I seamlessly extend my life in the warmer months and from which I’m able to retreat during inclemency.
Sajedah Karim, a fellow Dollar Bay resident says:
“I totally love it – the space, the views, the wow factor when you go in, just the sense of space it provides. I enjoy my living area the best, where I can chill or work. When you open the winter garden up, it’s a beautiful effect.”
Further afield, Letty Clark, who lives on a boat in Blackwall Basin says:
“Dollar Bay is my focal point across the water. It is amazing how different the building looks and changes depending on the light, the seasons and the weather. Watching it being built was spectacular. I only hope that I will still be able to see it when Wood Wharf is finished!
Discover more IGS Coverage of this Project: SimpsonHaugh’s Dollar Bay Provides a Striking Addition to Canary Wharf’s Impressive Skyline.
Article written by Rachel Haugh, courtesy of simpsonhaugh