Cranes, West India Docks, London

Saturday, May 07, 2005 Craig Grobler 0 Comments

The West India Docks are a series of three docks on the Isle of Dogs in London. Part of the original dock buildings now houses entertainment and leisure facilities such as the Museum in Docklands, 1802, The Ledger Building, Beluga Cafe, La Tasca, Leven Is Strijd, Bar 38, Dion and Scuzi.

I popped in for lunch at Scuzi and felt strangely at home while at the West India Docks. It became apparent that the architecture had it's roots in Dutch heritage which a lot of South Africa does as well. I'm not talking about old school Cape Dutch architecture but rather contemporary architecture as seen in the Cape waterfront and surrounding areas.

The docks remain open to ships and are now effectively protected from future major change by national and London Government policy. South Dock regularly plays host to medium-sized military vessels visiting London as it is the furthest point upstream that they can be turned around.

In 2005 planning permission was granted for a floating hotel in the shape of a modern yacht to be berthed in the South Dock, it seems that this will be a reality in the next 5 years.