Ikea appoints architects for Stratford masterplan

Andrea Klettner

Site plan showing housing (blue) and industry (green)

Ikea has appointed a team of architects to draw up a 1,500-home masterplan for the Swedish superstore’s first regeneration scheme in the UK.

The firm’s development arm Landprop, which last year bought the 5.2ha Sugar House Lane site in Stratford for an undisclosed sum, is working with world-famous Danish street-planner Gehl Architects and Tunbridge Wells-based practice ARC-ML on plans to build housing along with a hub for creative industries near the Olympic Park in east London.

The move signals a trend for retailer-led development in the area, where Tesco is already forging ahead with plans by Collado Collins for 454 new homes, a hotel, primary school and supermarket.

CZWG partner and Cabe commissioner Piers Gough said: “I would expect this to be a lot better than Tesco’s, which is so driven by the store there. If Ikea can bring some of their intelligence of economy of construction to this country, that would be very good for us.”

Ikea’s site covers a triangle of land between the southern end of the Olympic Park and the Three Mills film studios, bounded on two sides by the River Lea, and lying within the remit of the London Thames Gateway Development Corporation (LTGDC).

Michael Lees, director at ARC-ML, said the masterplan envisaged the use of a number of architects to ensure “visual diversity”.

“The environment of the ’island’ will be richer that way,” he said. “We are looking at a mix of housing types, together with some high-end water-side units.”

Gehl Architects will work on all public spaces, as well as residential, retail and industrial land.

The site, which is crossed by 5th Studio’s Fat Walk, is likely to host a new town centre anchored by a supermarket, a primary school and a variety of community space and public realm.

It was declared a conservation area in 2008, giving protection to the older industrial building.

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