Designed by SimpsonHaugh, Dollar Bay is a 31-storey residential tower on the eastern side of the Isle of Dogs in London’s Docklands, whose angular, faceted facade produces “folds and creases which capture the light differently and evoke a waterfall gathering pace as they descend”, says the architect. The building’s name is taken from the second world war, when American naval ships anchored nearby would pay dock workers a dollar for a tow back to their moorings, having been blown against the dock wall.
Set on a 0.24 hectare site and commissioned by a joint venture between developer Mount Anvil and Citystyle – part of One Housing – the waterside development provides 125 apartments, comprising a mix of apartment sale and affordable homes.
Each apartment has a winter garden and floor-to-ceiling glazing. They range from studios to three-bed flats and penthouses. The building contains additional facilities for residents including a gym, a garden with a children’s playground, basement car parking and cycle storage.
The tower’s “crystalline” profile was generated by floor plans that orientate apartments east to west, providing double- and triple-aspect views from almost all units, says the architect. It comprises two distinct forms connected by a central circulation spine, with the larger component facing west and the smaller facing east. The west facade is inclined inwards and outwards, with increased pitch towards the base of the structure. Minimising the plan area at the base creates additional space for new public realm. This provides outdoor seating, public art and a cafe in a landscaped setting.
Code for Sustainable Homes Level 4 was achieved through features such as the winter gardens, which act as a thermal buffer zone to the fully glazed building. Comfort cooling uses water from the dock, offering both cost and carbon savings when compared to traditional technologies, says SimpsonHaugh.