Blue Spaces, Blue Minds

Blue Spaces, Blue Minds


Royal Victoria Dock, London Borough of Newham, East Ham, Greater London, England, E16 1AG, United Kingdom

Project Description

Reconnecting People to Water at London Royal Docks

This thesis aims to improve the mental wellbeing of the London Royal Docks' residents by reconnecting them to the water . It proposes a health and spa center that adopts a system of floating polygonal modular pods that are designed to be responsive, adaptable, flexible and easily replaceable.

Newham is currently the 5th least happy borough in London. People were reported with higher anxiety and stress levels due to the noise pollution from the site's dense transport network. Along the waterfront, there are high barriers erected and limited public spaces, creating a feeling of disconnection with the water.

One of the aims of the scheme is to transform the harsh industrial landscape of the docklands through a biophilic design approach that enhances people’s connection to nature.

Inspired by the non-uniform cellular patterns of nature found around water(e.g corals, barnacles), different design iterations of the pod module was created using digital softwares(i.e Rhino & Grasshopper), and evaluated against a set of criteria such as ease of load transfer, material usage and ease of fabrication.

To reduce carbon footprint of the proposal, site-sourced materials(e.g calcium carbonate by-product from sugar factories on site) are utilized to ensure the sustainability of the project.

The selected pod design and system are then applied to the entire scheme on site and adjusted accordingly to cater to the different programmes of the scheme. Like a living organism, the proposed design provides an adaptive solution that responds to changing conditions on site and the users' future needs.

Coco Chew



Hello! I am Coco from Singapore and I am a graduating 5th year WSA student. During my placement year, I worked in a small Singaporean firm, Kite Studio Architecture, while doing remote study. My main interest lies in cognitive architecture and its potential application to impact its users mentally. For my final dissertation, I did a study on the architecture studio spaces that we encounter everyday, analysing the way they impact us architecture students and the way we design. For my final thesis I experimented with parametric designs and its potential in creating structures of the future. Interested parties please feel free to reach out to me. Cheers!