Paddington Basin is the terminus of the Paddington Arm of the Grand Junction Canal and the junction of the Regent’s Canal and the Grand Junction Canal is close to this point. It was named after the nearby canal basin and was opened in 1801. Paddington was chosen for being made into a basin because of its strategic position on the New Road which led to the east and provided for onward transport. During its peak days, the basin was used as an important transshipment facility and a hub of various activities. Work on the basin began in January 2000 by draining it. It was undertaken by a consortium in partnership with British Waterways.
Major redevelopment work of the basin is now going ahead as part of the Paddington Waterside scheme. The basin is located amidst modern buildings and is the site of the Rolling Bridge built in 2004. One of the important buildings in the area is the Head Office of Marks & Spencer that moved to this location from its Baker Street site in 2004. The nearest London Underground Stations are Edgware Road and Paddington, which is also an overground railway station served by National Rail. People who stay in a hotel near Paddington can see the pace of the redevelopment work and also the various attractions near the Paddington Basin.
The redevelopment scheme is part of the new master plan for Paddington Basin which is adjacent to Paddington station. As per the scheme, a revitalised, mixed commercial, residential and retail environment will be created at the waterside.
The redevelopment work around Paddington Basin will create 2,000,000 sq ft of offices, homes, shops and leisure facilities. The western end will be developed in the first stage. Although the original plan for development of the eastern end focused on the Grand Union Basin and included the Winding Building and the Grand Union building with a provision of three towers of 24, 32 and 40 floors rising to 164m, the height was later limited to 100 metres and a revised scheme was proposed but the project was discarded when it became obvious that the site would be needed by the Health Campus.
In 2006, a new plan of a Merchant Square was proposed that envisaged 1,800,000 sq ft of mixed-use space spanning 6 buildings, including 554 residential units and 58 percent commercial space. 4 Merchant Square, a 16-storey block of 196 flats is now complete; 5 Merchant Square (formerly Carmine) is a 14-storey office block of 255,000 sq ft, part-occupied by Marks & Spencer, which also occupies the Waterside Building. 3 Merchant Square is a 21-storey development of 159 luxury apartments and 42 standard apartments and is nearing completion in summer 2014. 1 Merchant Square will be a residential tower of 42 storeys, containing just over 200 residential units, a 90-room boutique hotel and a sky bar. 2 Merchant Square will be a 16-storey office building providing 162,000 sq ft of Grade A space with 4,400 sq ft of retail space. 6 Merchant Square will offer 119 apartments over 15 floors.
As part of the redevelopment work of the Paddington Basin, a large square by the canal is being planned for Merchant Square, along with business and retail barges moored alongside. The basin is famous for its ingenious pedestrian bridges, such as The Rolling Bridge. The Fan Bridge, which will be operational from autumn 2014, will open with the motion of a Japanese hand fan.
In the Paddington Basin of the Grand Union Canal in London there is a bridge that is usually curled up into an octagon but unfurls once a week for visitors to admire and to cross over. The Heatherwick Studio’s Rolling Bridge was commissioned in 2004 and needed to be a footbridge that would allow a crossing for local workers and residents but crucially could also move out of the way completely to allow boats to moor in the inlet.
The new corporate headquarters for Marks & Spencer comprises 13 levels of accommodation, including plant and parking facilities at basement level. A visual foil to St. Mary’s Hospital is created by large triangular floorplates that provide good levels of daylight and oblique views along the canal. In order to create simple contained external spaces fronting onto the canal that benefit from increased levels of sunlight, the forms are cut back. Public pedestrian ramps provide a natural route from North Wharf Road, through the lower ground level to these new spaces.
The building is designed to meet present and forecast environmental legislation. Waterside has lived up to the original expectations of a very robust, flexible and considered architectural response to the difficult task of high-value commercial development on a demanding inner city site. The finished building proves that the job has been done excellently.
Staying in a hotel near Paddington will enable a visitor to London to be able to appreciate the amount and extent of redevelopment work of the Paddington Basin and its impact on the environment. There are a lot of attractions near Paddington such as Hyde Park, Kensington Gardens, Kensington Palace, Serpentine Lake, Serpentine Gallery, Serpentine Solar Shuttle, Alexander Fleming Museum, Bryan’s Boat Trips, Canal Café Theatre, Cascade Gallery, Connaught Square & Gardens, Fleming’s Laboratory, Greek Orthodox Cathedral, Leicester Square Gardens, Little Venice, Norfolk Square Gardens, Paddington Library, Porchester Square Gardens, The Puppet Barge, St John’s Church, Sussex Gardens, Whiteleys Shopping Centre, London Zoo, Royal Albert Hall, Imperial College London and many more.
Moreover, guests at the various hotels and the residents of the area can avail of many fine dining options such as at restaurants in Paddington include The Summerhouse, Frontline Restaurant, Satay House, Pearl Liang, Angelus Restaurant, Zizzy Paddington, Desejo do Brazil, Noor Jahan 2, Nipa Thai, Cristini, Clarke’s, Al-Dar 1, Launceston Place, Stick & Bowl, Alounak, Radizio Rico, 35 Restaurant, Aberdeen Steak Houses, Abu Zaad, Akash, Al Arez, Al Balad, Al Deewan, Angus Steakhouse, Antony’s, Arbil Restaurant, Ask