Proposals for the Riverine Centre provide a rare opportunity to turn a barren and contaminated post-industrial landscape into a regenerated site for the benefit of the whole community and accessible to all. The scheme offers an exciting and unique opportunity to provide much needed community facility sitting within a series of public open spaces.
Situated amidst some of London’s most significant international assets such as the Olympic Park, London City Airport and the O2 Arena, the Site nevertheless remains cut off by natural and artificial physical barriers formed by rail, water and utility infrastructure that isolate the site from its immediate surroundings.
The ambition of the Trustees is to create an exceptional piece of architecture of national significance – a building that provides a landmark and a destination not only for the Islamic community but for the whole of Newham and beyond. The complex of buildings is not only inspired by its immediate surroundings - defining spaces that address the Channelsea River and relating materially to the nineteenth-century buildings of the neighbouring Three Mills Conservation Area - it also creates its own context, establishing a new and aspirational order for future development, both of the immediate surroundings and of the wider context.
The mosque and associated facilities sit at the centre of the 6.3 hectare site surrounded by a range of public open spaces; including a square between the Greenway and the mosque, a riverside walk along Channelsea River, a garden perpendicular to the river, and a series of sports pitches. At the heart of the complex of buildings is a public terrace overlooking the river. A more detailed description is provided below.
The Development will provide a multi-use centre, comprising areas for contemplation, study, prayer, socialising, celebration, consultation, counselling, relaxation, exercise, nourishment and education. A summary of how the proposed Development will function is contained within the Operational Statement submitted as part of the application documents.
The Development contains two parallel wings of accommodation containing ancillary facilities to the mosque which rise to approximately 25 metres above ground level. The prayer hall and external courtyard (Riverside Terrace) sit between these two wings.
The main areas within the Development are; Mosque, Car Park, Dining Area, Plant, Library, Visitors’ Centre, Residential Accommodation, Overnight Accommodation, Family room, Meeting Rooms, Sports Pavilion.
Open Space Designation
The total application area of the site is 62,297 m2 with the combined total area of amenity space being 41,959 m2 (4.1 ha). this represents over 70% of the total site area of amenity space provision within the site area.
The Mosque represents the main built element within the application, at 20,002 m2, with the sports pavilion being 380 m2.
The figures for the above take into account the Riverside Terrace, so while the building area is 20,002 m2, the terrace creates usable public space above.
In general the provision of open space represents a large part of the proposals, which offer wider public benefit. In layout terms very few areas cannot be classed as amenity space in part due to the rationalization of the road infrastructure and location of parking under the mosque.
The combined total creates an area of open space area of 4.1 ha, which falls between the Three Mills Green and Memorial Recreation ground in size.