Waterfront London, which opened today, looks at waterside development in London; recently completed, underway or in the pipeline. It considers how our waterfronts are transforming and being embraced as essential public spaces whereas, not long ago, we buried rivers, turned them into sewers or filled in and built on them. The enlightened approach, celebrated here, is to embrace the waterways and exploit their potential as transport routes, leisure facilities and biodiverse environments.
The key developments are mapped across two walls, roughly following the Thames west to east; from Wandsworth Riverside Quarter (completion 2011) to the City Road Basin, on to Kings Cross and Paddington Basin and out to the Isle of Dogs and Lea River Park - not forgetting the Olympic Park, of course.
There are also intricate scale models. Particularly arresting is the proposed Creekside Village in Deptford (see snapshot) which will create 3 rainbow reflecting, glittering tower blocks to the rear of the already architecturally famous Laban Centre and totally transform what is currently a fairly scary, urban industrial no-man's land.
The amount of stuff going on and going up around our rivers, canals and reservoirs is pretty mindblowing, let alone all the other stuff in the front gallery which deals all other development around the capital.
If you want the history of the River, get Peter Ackroyd's book. That's the past, this is most definitely the future.
Waterfront London: rediscovering the rivers & canals of the capital runs at New London Architecture, The Building Centre, Store St WC1 until 23 February and is absolutely free to enter.