K Warehouse, Royal Victoria Docks, London

Completed in 1858, the Victoria Dock (later part of the Royals) was the first fruit of the second great phase of dock building in the capital. Warehousing facilities were the cornerstone of the dock companies’ finances and a source of wonder to the 1905 Baedeker: “Nothing will better convey to the stranger an idea of the vast activity and stupendous wealth of London than these warehouses, filled to overflowing with interminable stores of every kind of foreign and colonial products.”

Yet of Victoria Dock’s warehouses, all that survive today are the K to R range of terraced buildings on the north side of the dock and a free-standing building, known as W, close by. Acting on behalf of developers, the team at 4D Studio Architects agreed a conservation and urban design strategy with the London Borough of Newham and won planning consent for proposals that are bringing these historic structures, two of them listed, back into productive use as neighbours of the huge ExCeL venue.

4D Studio has completed the adaptive re-use of four of the six remaining warehouses. Work to Warehouse K and its Annexe on behalf of developer Mount Bay Investments has created office and warehouse units, apartments, restaurants, a pub, The Fox at Excel for London City Taverns and offices for the staff of Newham Primary Care Trust.