New Design District on Greenwich Peninsula provides affordable workspace for creatives and a new cultural destination for London

Knight Dragon announces the arrival of London’s first purpose-built district designed for the creative industries. The Design District will sit at the heart of Greenwich Peninsula and will provide a permanent base for over 1,800 of London’s creatives in a range of architect-designed workspaces at affordable rents.

As well as creating a diverse and inclusive creative economy, the new one-hectare district will create a new cultural destination for London. Open workshops and studios are set around a series of courtyards and a central public square, in a fully pedestrianised quarter with a transparent market hall at its centre. Visitors will also be able to explore “open house” workshops, rooftop terraces and basketball court and retail design studios with rotating work from the district on display.

Across a vibrant cluster of 16 custom-made buildings, available workspaces will range from workshops to artists studios and flexible desk space. Rents will average £25 per square foot and start from £10 per square foot for workshop space, ensuring the district answers the call for more affordable workspaces in the capital for the creative industries – across design, art, technology, craft, music, food and digital. It offers a permanent base for creative businesses to trade, interact and grow.

Richard Margree, chief executive of Knight Dragon, said:

“Creativity is what drives forward any thriving city. The Peninsula presents a unique chance to create a new permanent district designed by creatives for creatives. At the very centre of this new community will be artists mixing with start-ups, mixing with independent market traders and design companies, large and small; everyone is welcome. We want a real mix of companies to come and to take over the place.”

To mix and juxtapose architectural voices, eight emerging architectural practices were selected from across Europe to create the low-cost, human-scaled workplaces for the district. Each practice was given a pair of buildings to design independently and ‘blind’ from each other, creating a provocative diversity of colour and form.

The eight practices who have helped bring this vision to life are: 6a Architects; Mole; Architecture 00; Barozzi Veiga; SelgasCano; Assemblage; Adam Khan Architects and David Kohn Architects. Landscape architects Schulze+Grassov designed the public realm.

The Design District is the next phase in the transformation of Greenwich Peninsula by Knight Dragon, as part of its 20-year plan to create a new piece of city. The Design District’s central, accessible position, next to The O2 and North Greenwich tube station, puts creativity, productivity and community at the very heart of the Peninsula. It will be delivered in a single phase and be open to its first tenants by early 2020.