Paddington Waterside, Westminster
A 21st-century mixed-use development situated in the vicinity of Paddington station and the Paddington branch of the Grand Union Canal
Rivalling the recent transformation of King’s Cross in scale, if not in cohesive imagination, this is one of the largest schemes – a so-called Opportunity Area – that the capital has seen since the regeneration of Docklands.
Most of the new building has taken place north of the station but the 80-acre Paddington Waterside ‘footprint’ takes in the station itself, new and old parts of St Mary’s Hospital and existing buildings stretching from Eastbourne Terrace to the Hilton Metropole hotel on Edgware Road.
Outline planning permission for the transformation of the former Paddington goods yard was granted in 1992 but its implementation was delayed by the downturn in the London property market and construction did not begin until 2000. The first phase of the Sheldon Square office complex at Paddington Central opened in 2002. Marks and Spencer moved its headquarters from Baker Street to Waterside House in 2004.
The final canalside project was the Brunel Building, which was completed in 2019 and is located on the corner of North Wharf Road and Bishop’s Bridge Road.
Having filled the water’s edge, developers have now moved ‘inland’, with projects such as Paddington Exchange, a collection of 123 apartments, and Paddington Gardens, a 3.8 acre development with four residential buildings, a Marriott hotel and a primary school.
Algernon Newton’s 1925 painting Paddington Basin, now in the art gallery at Brighton Pavilion, earned him the nickname ‘the Regent’s Canaletto’.