Building work has begun on a 26 acre site off Stratford High Street where the investment arm of flat pack furniture pioneers Ikea are preparing to create a "mini-Venice" on the outskirts of the Olympic Park.
Rebranded 'Strand East', the ambitious development around Sugar House Lane, E15 should include 1,200 homes, courtyards, a public square, a school, health surgery and nursery with moorings on the canal, a water-taxi service and a floating cocktail bar. Edmonton Ikea's not far away but it would be a missed opportunity not to land a Stratford outpost on the site too.
Planning permission is currently being sought for its focal point, a "40m high wooden illuminated sculpture". The proposal doesn't confirm who'll have to assemble it with just an alum key and some baffling instructions.
Construction Index reports that stage one of the development will see "a three-storey restaurant, office block and gallery space" open in spring 2012. Planning permission for the homes has not yet been sought.
Strand East - which is certainly some way east of The Strand - will fit nicely alongside the neighborhood of renamed places beyond 2012, joining Pudding Mill, Marshgate Wharf, Sweetwater, East Wick and Chobham Manor on the map of London.