At first glance it looks like a 21st-century answer to New York's iconic Flatiron building, and it has all the flair of multi-award-winning architects Squire and Partners, the firm making plans for the redevelopment of Chelsea Barracks. But Cavatina Point at Greenwich Creekside is also proof that affordable housing doesn't need to look bargain basement.
The first tranche of shared-ownership homes within the glistening rhomboid block are now on sale, and a piece of a one-bedroom flat could be yours for a shade above £50,000.
The development stands 250 yards from the Thames at Greenwich overlooking Deptford Creek, a short walk from Greenwich Village and a few minutes from another architectural marvel, the Stirling Prize-winning Laban Dance Centre.
Greenwich Creekside is an inspiring £250 million project. By next year it will include 371 homes, the majority with balconies, a central piazza with a "spinal" water feature and shops, offices, workshops and restaurants.
Of the Cavatina Point apartments, 63 will be sold on a shared-ownership basis, and a further 66 rented at subsidised rates. Housing association L&Q launched the first tranche of 30 part-rent/part-buy homes at the end of February 2011. Prices start at £235,000 for a one-bedroom flat, and buyers who opt for a minimum share of 25 per cent could be in for £52,000. Eligibility is restricted to households earning £21,300 to £42,600 a year.
The flats will be ready to move into in March and are finished to impress, to a high spec: white glossy kitchens accentuated by stainless steel splashbacks, plus a white-and-grey mosaic on the bathroom walls. The 12-storey blocks each have roof gardens, as well as "sky gardens" on different levels. Tim Gledstone, of Squire and Partners, says each flat will be flooded with maximum light, while areas of frosted glass are used to ensure residents' privacy.
"The balconies are like little cuts in the canvas," he adds. "We want people to bring them to life with plants and so on. The first three floors of each building are commercial, which will make the buildings very vibrant, and all the flats have amazing views."
Nic Bealey, L&Q's director of sales and marketing, says one of the great benefits of the development is location, particularly with the Olympics imminent. "Greenwich will host 13 events in the 2012 Games. Greenwich Creekside offers easy access to all the events throughout the borough, as well as quick and easy transport links to the main Olympic Village in Stratford. The eyes of the world will be on Greenwich for the duration of the Games, making this an even more attractive location."
One of the benefits of Greenwich is its great transport links. Canary Wharf is about nine minutes away and the City is a 20-minute journey. The area is served by the Docklands Light Railway, the Jubilee line and National Rail, and Creekside is within walking distance of Greenwich Village, which is, of course, a Unesco World Heritage Site.
For more information or to book a viewing, visit lqgroup.org.uk, or call 0844 406 9997. For information on private properties on the site by Telford Homes, priced from £245,000, go to greenwichcreekside.com.