Tom Dixon at Greenwich Peninsula

Tom Dixon penthouse at Greenwich peninsula | Design Hunter

The instantly recognisable Thames river loop that literally defines the eastern outpost ofGreenwich Peninsula on the London map is currently experiencing a major creative and architectural transformation. Best known as the site of the O2 arena, formerly the Millennium Dome, this industrial wasteland is starting to emerge as a new hub of culture and entertainment.

Masterplanning this in its entirety are developers Knight Dragon, whose ambitious regeneration scheme will see the development of 190 acres of homes, schools and shops, along with a thriving arts, culture and leisure scene catering for both residents and visitors alike.

The first residential apartments designed by SOM Architects and Tom Dixon Design Research Studio are currently under construction and earlier this month I was invited along for a taster of what to expect.

Brass coffee table Tom Dixon penthouse | Design Hunter
Tom Dixon interior at Greenwich Peninsula

Dixon's interiors at Greenwich Peninsula have a cinematic quality - luxurious, but with a gritty, almost noirish edge that reflects the post industrial landscape from which they are emerging.

"Just add whisky" was one of the comments I received on Twitter when I posted this picture of the penthouse we stayed in.

What attracted Dixon to the project was the scope for involvement not only in the interior design of the apartments, but also in aspects of the urban planning of the peninsula. The project offered the opportunity to be involved in "place-making", developing a long term vision for a whole new district of London, with the studio playing a role in the design of the park and pavilions too.

The apartments incorporate distinctly British materials including copper, brick and enamel from the makers of the London Underground signage. Leather, wood, marble and dichroic glass also feature prominently. Forms are bold and sculptural and colour and transparency are layered to provide depth.

Bathroom - Tom Dixon Penthouse | Design Hunter
Copper kitchen Tom Dixon penthouse Greenwich Peninsula | Design Hunter
The shapes are expressive and the materials used in a generous quantity. I want to make interiors that can be enjoyed for a couple of generations at least.
— Tom Dixon
Tom Dixon penthouse at Greenwich Peninsula | Design Hunter
Copper wall Tom Dixon penthouse | Design Hunter
Bathroom details Tom Dixon penthouse | Design Hunter
Tom Dixon penthouse at Greenwich Peninsula
Tom Dixon penthouse Greenwich Peninsula | Design Hunter

The coherence of vision behind this regeneration, and the strength of the design team that has been assembled to deliver it, is impressive. Design by committee this is not.

Alongside the residential development the first cultural elements in the transformation of the peninsula are already in place, with the opening of several new bars and restaurants including Craft London by Tom Dixon and Stevie Parle and Vinothec Compass at the peninsula's new riverside Golf Range, impressively set against the Canary Wharf skyline. Gallerist Steve Lazarides recently opened a print studio producing high quality limited edition prints from a number of artists at the forefront of contemporary printmaking, and the NOW gallery, designed by Marks Barfield and set amidst gardens conceptualised by Tom Dixon's Design Research Studio and landscaped by Thomas Hoblyn and Alys Fowler, hosts commissions from established and emerging artists and designers.

Next month Alex Chinneck will install a huge sculpture against the skyline as one of the headline events for the 2015 London Design Festival. Commissioned by the festival in collaboration with Knight Dragon, the installation will be a visual beacon that acknowledges the site's rich industrial history while also reflecting the scale of the transformation that is now underway.


On the Peninsula

Greenwich Peninsula

Above: clockwise from top

  • Ravensbourne College by Foreign Office Architects.
  • Some of the 600 different wines on offer at Vinothec Compass at Peninsula Golf Range.
  • 'A Slice of Reality' by Richard Wilson - sliced vertical section of a sand dredger.
Lazarides Editions Print Studio at Greenwich Peninsula

Studio details at Lazarides Editions and Mutoid Waste by Joe Rush with Canary Wharf in the distance.

Heartbreak Hotel at The Jetty

Checking into Heartbreak Hotel - immersive theatre at The Jetty.

Craft London by Tom Dixon and Stevie Parle

Craft London by Stevie Parle and Tom Dixon serves up a menu of mainly British produce, some of which is grown in the neighbouring kitchen garden. There are some excellent British wines too.

Quantuum Cloud by Anthony Gormley

Clockwise from top:

  • Quantum Cloud by Anthony Gormley looms in front of the Emirates Air Line.
  • Hand stitched glass bead installation by Phoebe English at the NOW Gallery.
  • Dusk across the Thames.

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The Tom Dixon designed apartments at Greenwich Peninsula are available via The Modern House.

With thanks to Knight Dragon for hosting us.

Photography by Design Hunter.

Summer Break

Summer break

I'll be taking a short summer break for the next week or so and unplugging to enjoy a digital detox, although I may share the occasional update on Instagram. Please do follow me there if you'd like to stay in touch.

Meanwhile if you are in a blog reading mood here are a few of my favourite posts from the archives.



A modern rustic kitchen  |  Paint it black?  |  A Melbourne home with a contemporary colour palette  |  Portrait of a house


Olio tableware by Barber & Osgerby for Royal Doulton  |  10 of the best... garden chairs  |  Scented candles with Parisian attitude  |  Scandinavian bathroom furniture from Swoon  |  Dining in


4 trends shaping interiors in 2015  |  Trendwatch - the new space race  |  Trendwatch - tactile textures  |  Trendwatch - tan leather  |  Trendwatch - the Memphis revival


5 minutes with... Sebastian Conran  |  5 minutes with... interior designer Robert Angell  |  5 minutes with Fabien Nauroy of Native Union  |  5 minutes with landscape & garden designer Marcus Barnett

Image: source


5 minutes with... Fiera Editor Katie Tregidden

Fiera magazine
Katie Tregidden Fiera magazine | Design Hunter

Since establishing her award-winning blog Confessions of a Design Geek in 2010, Katie Tregidden has carved out a career writing for publications including The Guardian, Dezeen, Design Milk, We Heart, The Telegraph and Ideal Home. She has also just written her second book, Makers of East London, which tells the story of people who are making things "from spoons to shoes, bells to bikes and chairs to chopping boards" in the heart of the capital.

Following a successful Kickstarter campaign, in 2014 Katie launched Fiera, a biannual print magazine dedicated to discovering new talent at the world's design fairs.

Fiera magazine issue 2
Fiera magazine

Which three words best describe Fiera?

Discovering, championing, inspiring.

Who or what inspires you?

New designers. They still believe in the impossible - and that can be contagious!

What is your most treasured object in your own home?

My cocker spaniel.

What are you reading right now?

I've just finished Design Like You Give a Damn by Architecture for Humanity co-founder Cameron Sinclair. A really inspiring book that I highly recommend.

What would you be if you weren't a design writer?

I dread to think! I spent 12 years working in advertising prior to this career and really think I've found my calling now. Don't make me go back!

Where's your favourite place to be?

By the sea.

Which words of wisdom do you try to live by?

Something Brené Brown said in her TED Talk, The Power of Vulnerability. "Tell the story of who you are with your whole heart."

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Issue 2 of Fiera magazine is out now and available here.