In 1985, SOM began work on a master plan for London’s Canary Wharf, which called for transforming a derelict industrial area into a thriving financial district. In addition to the master plan, SOM designed a number of buildings for the area, and created new public spaces.
The master plan established a clear urban framework of streets, public squares, and green space. SOM worked with local artists and landscape architects to create memorable and functional gardens, plazas, fountains, shopping arcades, and waterfront promenades. It also enhanced tree-lined boulevards with designated areas for VIP drop-offs, taxis, and bus stops. To establish aesthetic continuity, SOM proposed that design elements such as cornice lines, stone bases, and street furniture be consistent throughout the site.