Rathbone Market

The three phases of the Rathbone Market development bordering A13

The three phases of the Rathbone Market development bordering A13


Tom Shaw. Ramboll

Tom Shaw

Director, Buildings and residential lead UK
T: +44 7843 329 490
Sean Smeltzer. Ramboll

Sean Smeltzer

T: +44 7946 484 830
A major multi-phased residential and retail development revitalising Canning Town. Constrained by major roads and properties and up to 21 storeys high, the 650 unit award-winning scheme presented numerous engineering challenges requiring creative and innovative solutions.

Marking the long-awaited revitalisation of Canning Town, the threephase redevelopment of the historic Rathbone Market spans 63,000m2, providing a wide array of mainly residential accommodation, along with retail and community facilities and landscaping, as well as improvements to transport links.

Providing structural, fire, sustainability, facades, geotechnical and civil engineering services, Ramboll were the critical partner for architects and for the client, enabling the delivery of high spec developments in a challenging location within tight timeframes.  

Phase 1 and Phase 2 of the development (known publicly as Vermillion and Aurelia) comprise a predominantly concrete frame, with the column layout dictated by the apartment setup. A thicker transfer first-floor slab was adopted above the double-height ground floor, enabling the load from the upper levels to be spread, thereby reducing column numbers in the basement. The tight floor-ceiling height was accommodated through the minimisation of floor depths in the tower. Use of steel frames simplified the construction of the rotundas, while construction time was reduced through the adoption of unitized curtain walling on a large proportion of facades, including a mixture of built-in and bolt-on balconies. Deep foundation solutions of bored and CFA piles were used to allow the accommodation of different foundation levels requirements. They also provided sufficient load capacity and settlement control. 

For the final phase 3 (Lumire) in-situ reinforced concrete frame construction was used and typically comprises concrete columns and core walls that support floors formed from 250mm thick flat slabs. The roof slabs have been designed for green or brown roof loading. Where possible the vertical concrete structure has been incorporated into the wall or partition lines, increasing the internal space available for the client.

The combination of a TFL wall and the A13 immediately adjacent to the development to the south, the busy Barking Road to the north, the existing subway to the west, as well as local housing and gardens to the east rendered it a tightly constrained site. This called for innovative design solutions. In particular this involved cantilevering the edge of the structure off the foundation pilecaps to maximise the developed space. Similarly creative design was needed to prevent impacts to the existing TFL wall or its foundations. 

The close proximity of the construction site to the market and to surrounding homes and businesses called for sensitive external engagement, particularly with the market traders, throughout all three construction phases. 

Acoustic issues within the courtyard area and within the apartment blocks, caused by traffic on the A13, was also an issue. To combat this, a new wall adjacent to the existing TFL party wall was constructed. Ramboll provided specialist solutions that enabled the nearby footpath and trunk road to remain open and unaffected during the construction process.

The development has received numerous awards. Most recently the phase 3 development won the prestigious 2017 Sunday Times British Homes Award – best new development.


240 Blackfriars Road
London SE1 8NW
United Kingdom
Tel:+44 20 7631 5291

Company registration

Company registration

Ramboll UK Limited. Registered in England & Wales. Company registration no. 03659970. Registered office: 240 Blackfriars Road, London SE1 8NW

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