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Architecture & vessels

Trinity Buoy Wharf Pier

Built in 2002/ 2007/ 2018

When Urban Space Management took over Trinity Buoy Wharf in 1998, one of the key objectives was to open it to river transport by creating a pier.

River view from Trinity Buoy Wharf 1999

To celebrate the Queen's Golden Jubilee in 2002, piles were sunk in the river and the Jubilee Pier was born. True to the spirit of Trinity Buoy Wharf, it was an ingenious exercise of recycling created from a disused Thames barge, its superstructure made from two 20 foot containers, and the "brow" (or gangway) a redundant bridge from the West India Dock.

Jubilee Pier 2002

In 2007, the pier was quadrupled in size to facilitate the impressive fleet of river buses operated by Thames Clippers. It was then believed to be the longest pier in London.

With the great success of the fast ferries and the growth of passenger traffic on the river, a replacement for the 2002 pier was required. Given the strong history of ship building in the area, Urban Space Management decided to honour the heritage and construct the new pontoon at the wharf close to Trinity Buoy Wharf.

Left: Brunel at the launch of the Great Eastern 1859, right: Eric Reynolds and USM team launching the pier in the Thames 2018

Bye Engineering took on the challenge and the first new shipyard in London was born. The design and construction was innovative with folded steel hull and concrete decks. The spirit of innovation that epitomises Trinity Buoy Wharf is continued in the heat exchange system taking energy from the river that is part of the design.

Unlike most of the ships built in the past the new pier pontoon was not to be slipped into the water down a slope. Instead, it was to be lifted into the river using one of the largest cranes available in the UK. The hull is 36m long and 15m wide and in its completed form weights over 640 tons.

The image above shows the slim curved roof which reflects the concrete serpentine roof that the Trinity House engineers employed in 1952

New Pier in place, May 2018:

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