Anyone travelling into Canary Wharf on the Docklands Light Railway over the last two years can hardly have missed the construction of the distinctive Crossrail Station. Over the May Bank holiday, part of the structure called Crossrail Place was opened to the public and offered a number of surprises.
The main surprise was a large exotic roof garden in the top level which is located underneath of the distinctive latticed timber roof. The designers have tried to draw on the area’s heritage planting plants that are native to countries visited by ships of the West India Dock Company, which used to unloaded their cargo in the area where the station now sits.
Another surprise is the size of the structure, it has seven levels with a number of shops, cinema, restaurants and fitness facilities.
Although keen to draw on the area’s heritage, the almost space age design fits into the general modern design of Canary Wharf itself, however there is a couple of memorials that remind us these modern developments are only possible because of the sacrifices of those who lost their lives in the Two World Wars of the twentieth century.
With considerable building work on the Canary Wharf estate, there will be a number of changes in the next few years that will transform the area even more. The opening of the Crossrail network in 2018 will make the area an even more attractive location to work and live.
What effects this will have on the Isle of Dogs is open to question, but in the meantime it does provide more facilities for Islanders to enjoy.