The Point, Designed by Terry Farrel & Partners

At the bend of the canal, where the Little Venice arm turns into the basin, Terry Farrell & Partners built The Point. The site is in the North Wharf Road, just south of Dudley House. The design firm Pentagram used to be here and Purdey's, the gun firm moved here from lrongate Wharf Road in the 1960s. Later the site became a car park. Now it has become a gleaming brick and glass curve on a prestigious site.

The computer simulation shows the artist’s view of the planned building taken
from the west and looking along the length of the basin, with The Point on the left

Soon after the Paddington Basin opened, in 1801 there was talk of a second basin.1 Two centuries later The Point will lie like the prow of a gigantic liner resting in dry dock, parallel to the Basin, sited on the old mud berths2 which were used for decades by perfumed rubbish barges: a transformation indeed. It will provide 225,000 sq. ft of new office space in a 10 acre waterside setting. The offices, with their raised computer floors, will be arranged round a central atrium, and fitted to suit the individual users. An arresting building, it will dominate the entrance to the Basin.

The Point in dry dock

Typical Floor Plan

The floors have work stations with stunning views all round and a central atrium reaching down to ground level.

For what the Developers found below ground level see the next picture.

The Terry Farrell's Orange Building under construction.

The builder created a deep wall all round the building by drilling and casting concrete pillars which overlapped to form a solid wall the the full depth required. In doing this the cut through, as they knew they would, some clean yellow sand which had been deposited millions of years before when the River Thames formed a huge estuary not unlike the Nile Delta stretching from Primrose Hill to Thornton Heath. Huge dinosaurs roamed this area and one died in what was to become a Thorton Heath brick yard.

The developers immediately carried off this valuable sand and sold it to the concrete industry. For million of years it had been undisturbed, pristine and dormant. A fortnight later it had been cast in concrete and scattered all over London. The developers erected a huge crane in the centre and sloped off the sand in a huge funnel shape. They were then able to cut back from the centre to the outside concrete wall until they had cleared the sand completely. This greatly reduced the cost of the building.


  1. See plan p. 38
  2. See Goad map p. 257
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Updated August 4, 2011