Homegirl London’s Visit: Trinity Buoy Wharf. Billed as The Dockland’s Most Exciting Arts Quarter, this slice of urban industrial London is well worth exploring. The unique riverside positioning has a magnificent backdrop of the Thames and O2 Arena. You can see plenty of art dotted around the wharf and it is home to many creative businesses. Trinity Buoy Wharf is located at 64 Orchard Place, Poplar, London E14 in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets. The River Thames, Bow Creek and Leamouth all meet here and it is close to Canary Wharf and the new City Island.
Claire Morgan Light Bulb
About Trinity Buoy Wharf
Since 1998, this three-acre site has been regenerated to become a thriving centre for the arts along with providing a home for creative industries. The English National Opera, Royal Drawing Centre, University of East London (Performance Arts), Longplayer (one thousand year long musical composition) and Parkour Academy are all located here.
Victoria Buildings and Sculptures
What’s great is that there hasn’t been any over development so it has an industrial and urban feel. You’ll find studios, gallery spaces, a school, rehearsal rooms and shipping container offices here. You can rent office space in the Container City or one of the old workshop buildings. If you’re an artist, you can share studio space at the Trinity Art Studio.
You can even hire buildings or external areas for photo shoots, filming, events and weddings. For food, you can try the Bow Creek Café which serves home cooked meals and cakes. Fatboy’s Diner is a retro 1940s style trailer where you can enjoy burgers and shakes. Both eateries have space for alfresco dining.
The Lightship 95 is a red ship which is permanently moored here. It’s a famous professional recording studio situated on a 75 year old converted and restored ship which has been painted red, you can’t miss it!
Trinity Buoy Wharf Art
On entry into the Wharf you will pass by the Andrew Baldwin Cab Tree which is a London taxi with a tree trunk sticking out of the middle stranded in the road. This is the sign that you are heading in the right direction. The giant buoy with the words Trinity Buoy Wharf will also let you know where you are. You will see some street art paintings – Irony portrait (woman’s face), Electric Soup by Bruce Mahalski and the word ‘Paint’ by Anakapan.
Andrew Baldwin Cab Tree
Look out for the hanging fish which is dangling above a spiked iron fence. The fish is a three meters long Koi made from willow, cane and paper by Peter Hilary. Considering the materials used to create this sculpture, it has withstood the elements well.
Peter Hilary Koi Sculpture
Then you pass under a halo looking hanging sphere which takes you into the main Wharf area. Make sure you explore every nook and cranny because there is plenty of art dotted around. Andrew Baldwin is a trained Master Blacksmith and Welder with an interest in Victorian Engineering. You will find a collection of his works which include The Walking Boat, Fish Out Of Water, One Tonne Bell and the Steel House.
Andrew Baldwin Fish Out of Water
Some of the sculptures and installations are created to take advantage of the Thames location. The Time and Tide Bell is a permanent installation by Marcus Vergette which you will find on wall opposite the lighthouse but on the side of the Thames. This is a larger double bell which is rung by the river to mark each high tide which sounds different notes to form a melody. The Alunatime is a public moon and tide clock by Laura Williams. It shows the lunar phase, the lunar day and tide cycles.
Andrew Baldwin and John Eacott Floodtide
The Floodtide is a tidal sonification which makes music from the Thames tide. This is achieved by a sensor submerged from the pier which reads the tide flow data. The data is converted into notation which is played by the listening post. The Floodtide was created by Andrew Baldwin with the music by John Eacott.
Christiaan Nagel Mushrooms
If you look out to the Thames you will notice an array of mushrooms by Christiaan Nagel on top of a boat. That’s just a snapshot of the pieces of art which you will find scattered around the vicinity so keep your eyes peeled!
Trinity Buoy Wharf History
Historically, The Corporation of Trinity House was a voluntary associate of shipmen and mariners. They were granted a charter by Henry the eighth in 1514 for “The Guild of Fraternity of the most glorious and undividable Trinity of St Clement.” In 1573 it received a coat of arms and the authority to place and maintain beacons, marks and signs of the sea which included buoys, lighthouses and light ships.
Trinity Buoy Wharf became the workshop in 1803 because of the positioning by the river Thames. Navigation buoys were made here up until 1988. Many of the old buildings are from Victorian era. Keep an eye out for the Electrician’s Building, the Chain and Buoy Store and London’s only remaining lighthouse. The area was purchased by the London Docklands Development Corporation. In 1998, the Urban Space Management took the site over on a long lease to develop it as a creative space. I think they’ve done a splendid job!
Visit Trinity Buoy Wharf
To find out more about the area and discover information about events visit the Trinity Buoy Wharf Website. The address is 64 Orchard Place, poplar, London E14 0JW. The nearest underground is Canning Town on the Jubilee line and then it’s about a ten-minute walk. You go via the new City Island which is also well worth seeing because it is a new community built on an island. When you see the cab tree sculpture you are on the right track. East India Docklands Light Railway is also nearby. There is also a boat service (how cool is that!) the Predator goes from the 02 QE11 Pier. Opening hours are Monday to Sunday 9am until 5pm to visit the Wharf. Enjoy your exploration!
Author: Homegirl London. Photographs: Homegirl. Thanks: Rich for exploring with me.