The Waterman, Greenwich Peninsula

Pilbrow & Partners has completed the first building as part of the Greenwich Peninsula masterplan for Knight Dragon. The Waterman will deliver 269 new homes and a public square at the heart of the new urban district.

In 2013 Pilbrow & Partners’ proposals for a five block masterplan to the east of the Greenwich Peninsula were selected following an invited competition. Our approach refined an earlier masterplan building on its clear urban block structure. The masterplan had suggested homogeneous linear bars of accommodation distributed across the quarter. The Waterman is the key residential aspect of the Greenwich Riverside masterplan.

2013 - Present

Construction Cost
£ 151 million

Knight Dragon

Greenwich, London

Gross Floor Area
50 400 m²


The practice proposed an urban typology which integrated traditional courtyard blocks with strategically placed tall buildings.

The courtyards deliver well-scaled streets and the tall buildings denote the position of new public squares. The Waterman contains each of the masterplan’s elements including a new public space, a low-rise parameter courtyard and a slender tall building.

A six-storey low-rise building creates carefully-scaled street facades at the perimeter of the block and a private internal garden for residents. Townhouses activate the base of the building; their two-storey scale expressed as a robust stone plinth. The top floor is recessed as an attic, facing the coal loader jetty on the River Thames; this floor is drawn forward to create four dramatic, cantilevered penthouses.

The tower building is arranged as two wings flanking the central core. Each wing contains three flats so that every apartment is dual aspect. L-shaped living rooms are set around generous corner balconies to maximise panoramic views, with the upper-most floors reduced to one wing only with a communal residential garden, planned where the building sets back.

Ground floor residential accommodation has been constructed above semi-recessed parking so that the apartments are lifted above the public realm with private terraces that overlook the footway; a contemporary reinterpretation of the classic Georgian section. Full disabled access is provided by lifting Tidemill Square up over the parking and using the gentle rise of the roads to deliver fully accessible entrances for all.

The Waterman offers a residents’ garden that forms part of a range of communal facilities which includes a club room and cinema, which is projected into the portico that overlooks Tidemill Square.