reaching construction a milestone
Newfoundland tops out as work to clad and fit out the 60-storey structure continues
On a clear day you can see the Wembley Stadium arch, Windsor Castle and even the Heathrow runways,” said Canary Wharf Contractors director Alec Vallintine.
“You can watch the planes landing and taking off.”
We’re surveying the London skyline from 60 floors up on the roof of Newfoundland – Canary Wharf’s mid-construction skyscraper opposite the Tube station’s main exit. Alec has just overseen the topping out ceremony.
When complete – in spring 2020 – the tower will stand 220 metres high as the UK’s sixth tallest building, second only to One Canada Square on the estate and its highest residential-only tower block.
By comparison, One Park Drive by Herzog And De Meuron at Wood Wharf, will rise to 215m.
Inside Newfoundland, studio, one, two and three-bedroom apartments are being built into storeys three to 58, ranging in size from 429sq ft to 1,819sq ft.
Alec said the design was “a total headache to build,” as unlike most residential tower blocks each floor’s design varied thanks to the building’s diagonal grid structure – the distinctive, diamond-shaped steel beams that frame the building’s exterior – designed by Mayfair-based architects Horden Cherry Lee.
Work on the structure began in 2014 and it took two years to divert utilities such as telecoms, power, gas, water and sewers so the foundations could be laid by Balfour Beatty Ground Engineering.
“Halfway through that process we started piling, and in autumn 2015 we put in over 300 piles,” said Alec.
“Some of them went in at 60m – they’re some of the deepest piles ever installed in Canary Wharf and indeed across London.
“It’s an extremely tall and narrow building with a lot of pressure from the wind blowing, so it needed some pretty hefty foundations.”
The equivalent of seven Olympicsized swimming pools (more than 18,000 cubic metres of spoil) was excavated to form the basement, and over 14,000sq m of pre-cast concrete plank and 9,500 tonnes of structural steelwork have been erected.
The Jubilee line goes in between the piles beneath the structure.
“The diagrid transfers the weight either side and around the tunnels,” said Alec as he explained how the building’s columns, which each weigh up to 22 tonnes, carried the building’s weight while protecting the Tube.
The narrow skyscraper is one of the first build-to-rent schemes available in Canary Wharf and at present enjoys unobstructed panoramic views of the City and the surrounding estate.
Each of the total 636 apartments will come fully furnished by Vertus.
“To get an idea of the logistics, we have 886 bedrooms, 1,015 bathrooms with 382 baths, 738 showers and 1,015 sinks and toilets,” said Alec. “That’s an awful lot of articulated lorries full of toilet pans.”
Residents will be able to make use of a terrace garden, children’s play area, gym and level-two lounge. The M Restaurants group is also set to open a new flagship restaurant on level one, which will be open to the public.
Alastair Mullens, head of Vertus, said it was too early to comment on rental prices although they were expected to be comparable to similar flats on the Isle Of Dogs.
Tenancies will be available to begin in July 2020.
It’s an extremely tall and narrow building with a lot of pressure from the wind blowing, so it needed some pretty hefty foundations Alec Vallintine, Canary Wharf Contractors
Even on a cloudy day, the views over the City from Newfoundland are pretty spectacular