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‘Boxy’ river wall panels will provide a home for wildlife on the Thames foreshore

‘Boxy’ river wall panels will provide a home for wildlife on the Thames foreshore

River wall panels being installed on a brand-new piece of parkland in East London will allow biodiversity to flourish thanks to their irregular ‘shelving’ pattern.  

The super sewer project is extending King Edward Memorial Park in Wapping into the Thames as part of its work to clean up the river.  

With the vast majority of the underground infrastructure now complete, the Tideway team is focussing on the above-ground architecture and landscaping (A&L).  

This A&L work includes the installation of precast concrete river wall panelling which, thanks to its unique texture, will allow biodiversity to flourish in the area once the work is complete and the river walls are exposed to the Thames.  

In designing the river wall, Tideway, alongside its contractors and supply chain, sought to provide a surface to improve the habitat for marine life in the Thames.  

After a lot of research, which included consultation with ecologists at Swansea University and specialists from APEM, the team settled on a design called Rugen from the concrete firm RECKLI.  

This boxy, geometric design, when turned on its side, will provide a kind of ‘shelving’ to retain moisture that is expected to benefit a range of wildlife, ranging from crabs to algae.  

Installation of the panels was around halfway to completion at the time of writing. 

CGI of the new public space being created at King Edward Memorial Park Foreshore