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Abbey Quays
Barking, London

£350m regeneration of Barking Retail Park into new riverside urban village

The scheme sees the redevelopment of a former retail park to create a community-focused scheme, providing a new connection between Barking town centre and the River Roding.

The 62,245sqm Abbey Quays scheme, which is being developed by Weston Homes, will include 1,089 residential units across 13 buildings with a series of green public spaces and complimentary commercial, retail, leisure and community uses.

The apartments will be a mixture of one, two and three bedrooms with 35 per cent allocated as affordable. The scheme also includes a Max Whitlock MBE athletes training centre and gym and two enclosed parking areas for 248 cars, on top of which will be private gardens for residents.

The driving vision for the development was to create a new sustainable neighbourhood that maximised the opportunity to celebrate and enhance the River Roding. It will bring a new accessibility to the river for the first time in decades and create an exciting destination where people will want to live, work and relax.

At the centre of the scheme will be a series of public spaces including a riverside plaza that will provide a new social heart for the development and a makers yard surrounded by flexible work space aimed at artists and start-ups.

A fundamental part of our approach was to create a sinuous place where all the uses are integrated at ground level with active frontages around the whole development, generating a lively and vibrant street character for residents and visitors alike.

A key aspect will be a new green route running through the development that will provide a link between the existing town centre and the river with room for cafes and restaurants to spill out. Along this route will also be a distinctive residential hub building that will house management services as well as providing a space for social and community interaction.”

The development site sits between the River Roding to the west and the Abbey Park to the east, the setting for a number of heritage buildings including St Margaret’s Church and the ruins of Barking Abbey, which have informed the massing and materiality of the development.

Alongside the eastern edge of the site the buildings are 10-12 stories with recessed upper floors to respect the nearby heritage assets while along the river the heights range from 18 to 29 stories with the tallest building closest to the busy London Road to the north providing a strong visual marker for the development.

The buildings combine expanses of glazing with brick facades of contrasting colour with features including recessed and projecting balconies, balustrades designed as artwork to reflect the heritage of the local area and public artwork in the form of dramatic Manhattan-style large-scale murals on building facades with the illustrations making reference to Barking history.

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