Dane’s Yard Launch

It is a pleasure to share news that Vastint UK has launched Sugar House Island, their 10-hectare development in east London, just south of the Olympic Park. The first phase, Dane’s Yard, is a collection of eight historic and new office buildings targeted at the creative industries.

Dane’s Yard marks the first phase in the formation of Sugar House Island’s broader new neighbourhood. Planit-IE worked closely with Architects and Masterplanners ARC-ML and Waugh Thistleton Architects to enhance the vision for this sensitively designed creative quarter. Fronting the High Street and abutting the river, the commercial hub fuses the industrial heritage of a Conservation Area with clean and modern designs suited to small and medium sized businesses. The site’s layout has been preserved, retaining old yards and alleyways, that capture the finer grain and character of its former historical industrial use. 

As landscape architects, it was important to reinforce Dane’s Yard’s distinctive character within the wider Sugar House Island proposals. The design and materiality of the streets and spaces reflect this approach, and seeks to provide a distinctive but subtle reflection of the site’s history. A sinuous spread of natural clay brick paving, highlighted in parts with areas of reclaimed cobbles and setts, seamlessly grounding the retained and new build architectural components. A series of outdoor spaces have been carefully designed, with intimate dwelling areas for respite, and more open spaces for social interaction and enjoyment. We have succeeded in reusing and incorporating reclaimed materials and found site objects into the public realm, as important heritage assets that augment Dane’s Yard’s special ‘sense of place’. A minimal palette of trees and planting complement and enhance the industrial feel of the yards.

Sugar House Island is unusual among current London developments. With a commitment to long-term ownership and stewardship, Vastint UK brought together a cosmopolitan team of exciting architectural studios and designers to challenge and inspire each other along the way and to carefully create a place they hope everyone will enjoy. From the very outset, Sugar House Island has been a public realm-led project, and we were delighted to be invited to develop a placemaking and public realm strategy that was initially looked at by the great Jan Gehl.

Planit has been working alongside ARC-ML, Waugh Thistleton, Studio Meda, Mae, Duggan Morris, Maccreanor Lavington, ZZDP and RAW. Collectively we have developed proposals that carefully manage the balance between working, living and leisure activities, to form an integrated and animated neighbourhood. Dane’s Yard is the first quarter to be launched, with more residential phases, a significant plaza and riverside park to be realised in the coming months and years.