The Royal Docks logo on a flag

Regeneration news

The Royal Docks ‘highly commended’ in City Nation Place Awards

The Royal Docks team was delighted to be highly commended in the City Nation Place Awards in the “Best Use of Design” category.

Projects from 24 countries around the world were entered and the commendation was awarded “for a design identity rooted in this place’s history, with an ingenious modern twist”, which sums up the Royal Docks rather brilliantly.

The Royal Docks was up against some inspiring competition and the award actually went to an entire country! Azerbaijan’s Take Another Look campaign took home the gong. In fact, the Royal Docks was the only hyperlocal winner of the night – the rest of the awards went to countries all over the world, from Costa Rica to the Faroe Islands.

The Crystal building with a Royal Docks milkfloat outside

Royal Docks branding in action

Our monochrome branding was "highly commended" in the City Nation Place awards. It draws on the area's maritime and seafaring history.

Photo: Tian Khee Siong

Our pared-back design actually takes its inspiration from its seafaring heritage. The + and = logo draws on the letters R and D maritime alphabet, nodding to our heritage but also acting as a symbol for our current and future aims of positivity and inclusivity in the area. Our branding expands the patterned alphabet into a tapestry that represents the area’s diversity

City Nation Place is all about “connecting nations, cities, regions and place brands around the world”. As well as design and identity, the judges also considered the long-term perspective and impact of the projects. The entries centred around “engaging citizens, driving investment, attracting talent and developing sustainable tourism” which is really what the Royal Docks is about – building a real community that’s not only beneficial for local communities, but also makes an impact on those visiting from all over the world.

A design identity rooted in this place’s history, with an ingenious modern twist.

City Nation Place Awards.

The Ship of Tolerance

Ship of Tolerance

The Ship of Tolerance is an art project by Ilya and Emilia Kabakov which has travelled all over the world working with communities. It dropped anchor in the Royal Docks in August 2019 for the Join the Docks festival.

London has always been a global city and the Royal Docks global connection is very much steeped in the area’s heritage. From the 1850s, the area was the centre of global trade and was London’s gateway to the rest of the world. The area’s global connections have evolved with the area. From being a pioneer in the engineering world, to being a part of global art projects, the connections continue today and reflect the diversity in the London Borough of Newham, where 104 languages are spoken.

The global connections in the Royal Docks have now evolved as global business has, something that’s highlighted by RAD’s continuing relationship with China’s businesses and the lineup at ExCeL London. We interviewed Jeremy Rees – CEO at ExCeL London earlier this year who said “ExCeL welcomes thousands of people from all over to meet, trade and do business — from the world’s biggest trade exhibitions to Europe’s largest medical congresses to global showcases for world renowned brands.”

Inside the ExCel centre

Going global at ExCeL London

ExCeL London's global events programme is a real boon for the Royal Docks and draws hundreds of thousands of visitors to the area every year.

Photo: Tian Khee Siong

The travel industry plays a huge part in the Royal Docks’ global impact. One of the busiest events at ExCeL London is the World Travel Market, the UK’s annual event for the global travel industry. Continuing the travel connection, of course, is London City Airport. Over 4.5 million passengers fly from London City airport and it welcomes hundreds of thousands of visitors every month.

Whether in the diverse community of locals, or the huge array of events attracting people and businesses from all over the world, the global connections in the Royal Docks look set to strengthen as the area grows.