Wardian towers take green lead in Docklands

Plants abound in two-tower project close to Canary Wharf

London Docklands is definitely a great spot for those who like the idea of living close to water, but if you seek greenery to go with it, that has been in somewhat shorter supply.

However, there’s one project on the way where the green element will be to the fore … Wardian London, a double-towered high rise being described as a visionary, botanical development.

The Wardian towers stand at 55 and 50 storeys

A short time ago the development was officially ‘topped out’ and it is expected that the first residents will be moving in early next year. 

Wardian overlooks the South Dock and is adjacent to Canary Wharf. It is claimed to be a world-first in housing design by offering residents access to a green, tranquil escape in one of London’s busiest and in-demand commercial neighbourhoods. 

Wardian gardener Huw Morgan (right) and architect Glenn Howells at the topping out. Photot: Daniel Lynch 07941 594 556.

At the topping out, developers EcoWorld Ballymore celebrated the development’s connection to the natural world with a special moment which saw resident gardener, Huw Morgan, tend to the exotic plants and trees within what will become the building’s 53rd floor sky garden.

EcoWorld’s vision for agreen escape from Canary Wharf’s urban landscape started 2016, when construction of the large-scale housing project began. Following completion, the development will offer residents a unique opportunity to benefit from green spaces while being just minutes away from one of London’s most vibrant and well-connected commercial centres.  

Designed in collaboration with Glenn Howells Architects, Wardian London comprises two residential towers of 55- and 50-storeys and will contain 766 homes including suites, one and two-bedroom apartments and penthouses. 

Instantly recognisable by their generous wrap-around balconies and slender profiles, the towers land onto a two-storey podium, housing a grand lobby, pool, restaurant and retail outlets. 

Throughout the development, Wardian cases* (glass terrariums) will be found filled with exotics trees and plants, many of which are new to the UK.

Residents will be encouraged to explore the plants which have matured alongside the project because they were bought up to two years prior to installation. 

Every resident will also become a member of The Wardian Club, allowing access to exclusive facilities including a 25m open-air swimming pool, gym, cinema, two restaurants and a rooftop observatory.

“Wardian will create a serene escape integrating indoor and outdoor living, connecting residents with the beauty of nature and bringing botanical beauty to this part of the capital,” said a spokesperson.

Tan Sri Dato’ Sri Liew Kee Sin, executive vice-chairman of EcoWorld International, said: “It has been a great pleasure to see the development take shape and become one of the most highly-anticipated housing developments in London.  I am delighted to be able to celebrate its topping-out – a momentous occasion for EcoWorld Ballymore.”

Sean Mulryan, CEO, Ballymore Group with Tan Sri Liew, CEO, Ecoworld International

Sean Mulryan, chairman and chief executive of Ballymore Group, added: “Ballymore has owned the site on which Wardian now stands for 25 years, so it brings me great joy to see these two beautiful new towers standing on what has been such an under-utilised space for so long. This is a huge milestone for the development and we cannot wait to see units complete and first residents moving in. 

We have worked closely with Glenn Howells Architects to create a building that is beautiful inside and out, a sleek, geometric exterior gives way to a luscious, green oasis inside. Moments from Canary Wharf, Wardian creates a place to breathe and we are incredible proud of what has been achieved.”

Architect Glenn Howells, added: We are delighted to celebrate the topping out of Wardian London with our clients EcoWorld Ballymore. We are very proud to be involved with this significant project not only because of its scale and quality, but also because it’s a very different type of tall residential development offering all residents unparalleled access to their own sky gardens, which, in addition to providing generous external space, also provides excellent environmental control through shading and greenery. This theme of connecting people with nature also defines the common areas of the building which are now nearing completion.”

*The scheme takes its name from the traditional Wardian Cases made popular in the 19thcentury when they were used to transport rare botanical plants to Europe from overseas.

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David Buckley

Dave Buckley is a career journalist. “I once went painting girders for a week and discovered I didn’t like heights,” he says. “Apart from that it has always been journalism for me in one form or another.” Past publications worked for include the South-East London Mercury*, Kent Messenger, Daily Express, Today*, News of the World* and Hong Kong Star*. All those marked with an asterisk no longer exist (trend emerging?). He owned and edited a Thailand-based property magazine before returning to England and currently works as a production editor for an East Midlands-based publishing group.

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