Barking Riverside

➜ Images from a visit to Barking Riverside

❑ In July 2023 members of the Architecture and Built Environment Group of Crouch End & District u3a visited the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham’s new development,
Barking Riverside, a scheme, by the Thames at Barking Reach, intended to provide eventually over 10,000 new homes, commercial and leisure facilities, new schools and riverside walks, with transport links to central London via the London Overground or via the river on services provided by the Thames Clipper

❑ The site is the former coal-fired Barking Power Stations, decommissioned in 1981 and subsequently demolished. Adjacent to the site, away from the river, is this industrial landscape, which gives some idea of the challenges presented to the masterplanners, Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands

❑ Within this scene of vacant plots, hoardings proclaiming the benefits and advantages of the development, and a newly erected blocks of housing, lies the project office, constructed of recycled shipping containers (for an example of a similar use visit Buck Street Market in Camden Town)

❑ Here the group was shown a model of the development, while an ebullient member of the project team outlined the history of the development of this new community and its future, while explaining the intricacies of the private/public funding models, and explaining how the new community will be protected from the threat of inevitable rising river levels. Members of the group expressed particular interest in the ENVAC pneumatic waste collection system which, on completion, will be one of Europe’s largest recycling and waste disposal facilities

❑ The Group was then invited to take a tour of the development, from the station (architect: Weston Williamson), opened in July 2022, along the Fielders Quarter, a combination of blocks of flats and terraced houses, as far as The Wilds Ecology Centre (architect: Jestico+Whiles), a cafe and community centre (housing in its basement the ENVAC waste collection terminal), and with a splendid garden space