Royal Albert Dock, London


The Royal Albert Dock is one of three docks in the Royal Group of Docks of East London in the United Kingdom, now undergoing major redevelopment.

Royal Albert Dock
UEL Docklands Campus from bridge.jpg
Coordinates51°30′24″N 0°03′15″E / 51.5066°N 0.0542°E / 51.5066; 0.0542Coordinates: 51°30′24″N 0°03′15″E / 51.5066°N 0.0542°E / 51.5066; 0.0542
ArchitectSir Alexander Rendel
Royal Albert Dock, London is located in London Borough of Newham
Royal Albert Dock, London
Location of Royal Albert Dock in London Borough of Newham


Map showing the Royal Albert Dock, 1908
The dock in 1955

The dock, which was designed by Sir Alexander Rendel as an extension to the Victoria Dock, was constructed by Lucas and Aird and completed in 1880.[1] Two dry docks and machine shops were established to the south at the western end for ship repairs by R & H Green & Silley Weir (later River Thames Shiprepairs Ltd).[2] From the 1960s onwards, the Royal Albert Dock experienced a steady decline – as did all of London's other docks – as the shipping industry adopted containerisation, which effectively moved traffic downstream to Tilbury. It finally closed to commercial traffic along with the other Royal Docks in 1981.[3]

The dock viewed from the west in 1973.

Redevelopment in the late 20th century included the construction of London City Airport which was built on the south bank of the dock with a single runway and completed in 1987.[4] At the eastern end of the north bank the University of East London Docklands Campus opened in 1999.[5][6] Redevelopment also included the London Regatta Centre which was built at the western end of the north bank and opened in 2000.[7] In the early 20th century 'Building 1000' was built on the north bank of the dock at a cost of £70 million and was completed in 2004.[4]

In May 2013, the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, announced a development of the Royal Albert Dock which would be worth £6 billion to the capital's economy and would create over 20,000 jobs.[8] With CITIC Construction assigned as main contractor, and Multiplex assigned as principal sub-contractor, construction officially began in June 2017.[9][10]

Phase 1 of the project was completed in the first quarter of 2018, consisting of 21 buildings with 460,000 sq ft of office space and 140,000 sq ft of retail and public realm.[11] Phase 2 is expected to begin late 2020, which will consist of further office and retail spaces, along with residential units and membership clubs.[12]

However, in February 2022, the business park was described as a "ghost town", half finished and mostly empty.[13]


See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Royal Albert Dock". Port Cities. Retrieved 30 November 2019.
  2. ^ "Green And Silley Weir - a Memory of East Ham". Francis Frith. Retrieved 30 November 2019.
  3. ^ "History". London's Royal Docks. Retrieved 30 November 2019.
  4. ^ a b "The Royals". BBC. Retrieved 30 November 2019.
  5. ^ "University of East London Olympic Partnerships". Archived from the original on 23 September 2010.
  6. ^ "Team USA to Use University of East London Campuses".
  7. ^ "I won a silver medal at the Olympics... after being told that I would never row for my country". Henley Standard. 3 July 2017. Retrieved 8 June 2019.
  8. ^ "Mayor announces £1bn deal to transform Royal Albert Dock | London City Hall". Retrieved 30 November 2019.
  9. ^ Laurel Demkovich. "Groundbreaking ceremony marks start of £1.7bn ABP development in Royal Docks | Latest Newham News". Newham Recorder. Retrieved 30 November 2019.
  10. ^ "Brookfield Multiplex set for £240m Royal Docks job". Construction Enquirer. Retrieved 30 November 2019.
  11. ^ "Masterplan | RAD". Retrieved 30 November 2019.
  12. ^ Sophie Morton. "ABP chairman Xu Weiping pledges commitment to £1.7bn Royal Albert Dock business district | Latest Newham News". Newham Recorder. Retrieved 30 November 2019.
  13. ^ Jessel, Ella (11 February 2022). "Behind the story: How did Boris's business park become a ghost town?". Architects' Journal. Retrieved 11 February 2022.