On the Thames River wall at St Katharine Docks, we have solved the structural problems of locating a two storey building in an exposed riverside position. We have been working on a proposal for a new restaurant for the 1930s quay fronting the 1827 dock complex designed by Thomas Telford, which now houses a marina, hotels and restaurants.
As piling into the Thames is prohibited, the quay is to be used as the foundation. Thorough testing and repairs are to be conducted to determine an accurate load capacity. However, it is likely that a lightweight design will be needed. The weight of the structure, which is to resemble a cut diamond, will be reduced by integrating the frame and façade. Lightweight structural elements of timber fletched with plate steel are to be located along the fold lines with glass and timber panels between.
Due to the very public location — next to London's Tower Bridge, a riverboat dock and major landmark — construction must be non-disruptive. To overcome this we have designed the structure to be modular and prefabricated. The components are to be delivered by barge and it is expected that the restaurant will be constructed in just one weekend.