Royal Docks Design Guides — London

GLA Royal Docks Team / London Borough of Newham

JCLA / Studio Dekka

Following on from the Royal Docks Public Realm Framework, 5th Studio have worked with the Greater London Authority to complete a series of Public Realm Design Guides covering wayfinding, landscape and lighting. The guides were co-developed with local communities and stakeholders to ensure that they are relevant to all, as well as encouraging involvement in the process which will help ensure that the guides’ recommendations are implemented in future projects.

The guides aim to ensure that new public realm in the docks is coherent and addresses local issues such as poor access to open space and challenging wayfinding, as well as broader concerns such as air pollution and the promotion of healthier lifestyles. There is already significant development and investment underway in the Royal Docks, and these guides will help realise this significant opportunity to improve the public realm and to ensure that new proposals meets the needs of new and existing communities.

The guides were produced in collaboration with Jonathan Cook Landscape Architects and Studio Dekka, and include area-wide masterplans as well as detailed palettes and design information.

View the guides here: wayfinding, landscape, lighting.

Stakeholder and Community Engagement

The diagram above shows how the involvement of stakeholder and communities followed different streams and used different approaches in order to meet the input and engagement objectives specific to each group.

Stakeholders – For Phase 1 the stakeholder stream used large multistakeholder group discussions to collectively review existing design guidance, the Masterplan proposals and identify key needs and issues. Phase 2 moved to focussed sessions to gain recommendations regarding implementation and management for specific locations and elements of Masterplans and Palettes from particular perspectives or expertise.

Communities – The community stream used an iterative process codeveloped with communities. It incorporated feedback and learning loops to address gaps and meet changing needs. The process developed capacities enabling communities to lead their own activities. This created informed and safe spaces for user-centred feedback that drew from groups’ own networks and places encouraging diverse participation and creative input.

The multimedia outputs: survey responses, verbal feedback, annotated maps, drawings, photos, video created a rich feedback picture. Analysis of personal and hyper-local experience was brought into conversation with area-wide challenges and opportunities to inform multi-scalar strategies for Wayfinding, Landscaping and Lighting.

The Masterplans

The resultant masterplans respond to challenges and opportunities across the Royal Docks at both a strategic and local scale

Extracts from the Design Guides

Worked Examples



Unit 14
21 Wren Street
London WC1X 0HF
t +44 (0)20 7837 7221
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Gwydir Street
Cambridge CB1 2LJ
t +44 (0)1223 516009
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2 King Edward Street
Oxford OX1 4HS
t +44 (0)1865 684004
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Stay in touch

We are keen to receive CVs and short portfolios from Part 1 and Part 2 designers. Please contact us via

We actively encourage qualified applicants who are Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic, disabled, female and LGBTQIA+ as these groups are under-represented throughout the built environment professions.