by cristina lanz azcarate
Comments 2

Rathbone Market, London

Delivered on behalf of  CZWG Architects
My Role : Project leader. (Planning, tender, construction)

In the heart of Canning Town, 1.5 hectares of challenging nature between a busy high street and the A13 had patiently waited for the right kind of developer to take on the challenge when English Cities Fund joined the London Borough of Newham, as developing partner, to do so.

On the back the masterplan for the area produced by Arup, the brief required:

· The need to rethink and improve the connectivity of the area (particularly at the pedestrian level).
· A degree of permeability to promote links between the new development and the existing community.
· Mixed uses to become both, a draw into the area and a catalyst for the regeneration. Those included a revitalized market, provision for a new local service centre and library and various small to medium size retail units.
· Accommodation types which included a variety of residential tenancies and sizes side by side with no apparent distinction.
· It also included the need to relocate a group of existing elderly tenants to a cluster of apartments designed to keep the community spirit that had emerged after years of living together.


English Cities Fund selected CZWG architects to unlock the potential of the site. The practice’s experience has, over the years, ranged from successful master planning and place making in regenerative contexts, to public buildings ( including the Canada Water Library, recently completed) and successful retail environments such as the new town centre proposal for Banrsnley Market.

In a personal level, my experience in both regeneration and education as well as my personal interest in all matters related to the social aspects of architecture, gave me the opportunity to join the front end of the Rathbone Market team, as project runner, from the start.


Due to the profile and scale of the project, extensive consultation and design workshops with both stake holders and London wide Agencies (LTGDC, LDA, GLA) became a key part of the pre-planning process.

Six years on, and having worked closely with both our client ECF and John Sisk & Sons to deliver the shared vision for the area, the project is a success. Delivered on time and on budget, shortlisted to the following awards, it begins to get the recognitions it deserves as a step changer for the area:

· Property Awards 2013 for ‘Sustainability Achievement of the Year’
· RICS Awards 2013 under the categories of “Housing” and “Regeneration”
· RTPI Awards for Planning Excellence in the category’Leading the way in planning for community’.

Winner of the following awards:

· John Sisk & Son Ltd won a Bronze Medal, Considerate Constructors Scheme 2013
· ECF Ltd won a Commendation: Multi-Story Development of the Year at the Premier Guarantee Excellence Awards.


One of the most interesting aspects of the construction process must have been the experience of working with large unitised panels.

Admmitedly has been a challenge to coordinate every detail, between the teams in Britain and Germany, but the whole team have done an amazing job, and the level of quality achieved still catches me by surprise every time I visit the development.


Design Team:

Client: English Cities Fund
Local Authority & Developing Partner: London Borough of Newham
London Wide agencies: LTGDC, GLA, LDA
Main Contractor: John Sisk & Son
Architect: CZWG Architects
Cost Consultant: Rider Levett Bucknall
Project Manager: Buro Four
Planning Consultant: Longboard Consulting
Structural, Sustainability and Facade Engineers: Ramboll
M & E (Services) : Hilson Moran (client) Haydon (contractor)
Landscape Architects: Churchman Landscape architects
Transport Consultant & Environmental Engineers: Peter Brett Associates
Acoustic Engineers: Hilson Moran(client) Sharps Redmore (contractor)
Affordable Housing Consultant: Douglas Birt Consulting
Housing Association: Notting Hill Housing Group
Rental: Fizzy Living


Key Design Considerations:


The site is in an urban area and benefits from good access to public transportation (PTAL 6) and access to diverse amenities such as schools, banking and postal facilities, public houses and a variety of shops.

· Cycle storage provided in the basement (1 space per apartment)
· Car parking provision 40%
· All residential units provided with home office space


The development’s annual gas and electricity consumptions are estimated at 1,730 and 1,307 MWh respectively. Consumption is minimized by a series of energy saving measures which form part of the design and were introduced at the offset. These include:

· Energy efficient lighting systems (LED fittings, Daylight sensors, passive infra-red (PIR) sensors and timers) and A-rated white goods
· Metering connected to the Building Energy Management System (BEMS) to monitor energy and water consumption
· Thermal mass with low U-values (circa 40% improvement from Building regulations)
· Heat recovery systems
· Heating and hot water provided from the communal heating system.

In order to deliver the GLA’s 20% CO2 reduction target, the total heating and hot water demand for the development is produced as follow: 40% by a natural gas CHP system, 40% by a biodiesel heating system and the remaining 20% by conventional natural gas boilers.


· Fittings to limit water consumption to 105 litres per person per day
· Rain water harvested to use in amenity spaces


· The Green Guide “A rated” materials specified whenever possible.
· Recycled materials used on the landscaping.
· Environmental certification sought out for materials sourcing (ISO 14001 and/or EMAS)
· Offsite manufacture has been used to reduce material wastage.


Surface run off:

· Green roof to slow the rain water on its way to the mains
· Pond to harvest and attenuate rainwater, increase biodiversity and capture dust particles from A13
· Additional underground attenuation tanks provided as a top up mechanism


· Waste produced during construction monitored and segregated
· Facilities have been provided in apartments and at basement level to assist the separation and storage of recyclables
· Composting facility provided to serve the garden

Health and Comfort:

· The development complies with BRE daylight and sunlight recommendations.
· Acoustic performance beyond Part E requirements
· Heat recovery system


· All insulation for the building fabric and pipework / ductwork has a GWP of less than 5.
· Winter gardens provided on all balconies overlooking the A13 up to 6th floor level
· Mechanical ventilation provided to the lowest two residential floors to avoid air pollution from local traffic
· During demolition and construction works, the Considerate Contractors Scheme and best practice were implemented to prevent pollution to the air, soil and groundwater.

Land use and Ecology:

· Ecological value of the site increased by more than 9 species.
· Planting designed to provide enjoyment throughout all seasons
· Green roofs introduced as part of ecological (habitat) and environmental (attenuation) strategies
· Green wall and tree planting on podium garden introduced to shelter amenity space from noise and wind
· Allotments created to encourage onsite food growing

Photographs by Cristina Lanz-Azcarate
Text by Cristina Lanz-Azcarate

Please feel free to use this story for your own personal use, not commercially. All images are property of the author as specified and all rights are reserved. If you wanted to share any of the information provided, post a link to the website but do not extract/copy the information without prior permission



  1. Justin Queirolo says

    Dear Ms. Cristina Lanz-Azcarate,

    I am currently undertaking an evaluation of this exemplary project, as a Urban Regeneration Masters student at UCL, and I wondered whether you might be able to assist with a few brief questions. I have gone through pertinent documents that were made available to us but was wondering whether you might be able to fill in some informational gaps. My questions relate mostly to contract bidding and tendering, evaluation and monitoring of progress. Also of your overall experience working on a project of this scale? These matters are mostly for clarification purposes and shouldn’t take up too much of your time. Also this evaluation will be kept confidential only being shared with my professor.

    Would you be amenable to answering a few questions either via phone call or email. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

    Respectfully ,

    Justin Queirolo

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