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Design District Canteen

A Contemporary Market in Greenwich

SelgasCano

Design District Canteen
By Caterina Testa -

Once a swathe of warehouses and industrial plant, with the arrival of the Millennium Dome London’s Greenwich Peninsula underwent a sweeping redevelopment boom, rapidly become one of the most dynamic areas of Greater London.

Inaugurated in 2021, the Design District is one of the most recent arrivals. Covering a rectangular plot immediately below the Millenium Dome, the district has been designed to accommodate 1800 workspaces distributed over 16 buildings designed by eight different architecture firms. From the outset, the developer aimed to replicate the variety of buildings and styles found in layered urban settings, the result of successive changes, additions and adaptations down the years. In fact, none of the architects involved was informed of what the other firms had planned. Each firm just had to comply with a masterplan that indicated the requisite amount of open public spaces and certain specifications for each individual building. Unsurprisingly, the overall result is an extremely varied, multifaceted yet integrated district organized to serve the creative community it plans to host. The calculated risk taken by the investor in adopting a truly innovative, deliberately eclectic – and therefore potentially chaotic – project paid off. The new high-density district with its medley of irregularly juxtaposed, low-rise volumes stands out from the surrounding urban context.

The Spanish architecture firm selgascano was among the eight firms invited to design one of the new buildings. The other seven were 6a Architects, Adam Khan Architects, Architecture 00, HNNA, Barozzi Veiga, David Kohn Architects, and Mole Architects. selgascano was assigned to design the Design District canteen, which had to resemble a covered public market with a bar/cafeteria and six restaurants.

Located in the northern section of the area on one of the corners of the new Design District’s main square, the canteen runs lengthwise to...

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