London’s First Purpose-Built Creative District

Laurence Martin Developments, led by director and founder Laurence Grigorov, is a residential property development company based in Johannesburg, South Africa. The company is constantly looking at current design and architectural trends and ideas to help it enhance the product and experience that it provides to its customers. Laurence Grigorov is an admirer of mixed-use as well as specialised nodes of development that allow centres to flourish and expand in a socially and environmentally conscious way.

According to the website, urban developers, Knight Dragon, are creating London’s first ever purpose-built district designed for the creative industries.

Located in Greenwich Peninsula, the area will provide affordable studio space and provide a permanent base for over 1,800 of London’s creatives.

Answering the cities cry for more affordable rents for people in the creative industry, the district aims to provide a space for creative individuals and businesses to grow.

Alongside providing a base for London creative, the district will also act as a new cultural destination for London. Among the open workshops and studios, there will be a series of courtyards and a central public square for visitors to use. A fully pedestrianized quarter will surround a transparent market hall. Visitors will have the opportunity to explore “open house” workshops, rooftop terraces and a basketball court. Retail design studios will display rotating work from the district.

In order to create a diverse and unusual area, the district has enlisted eight architectural practices from across Europe to create different areas. Each architect designed a pair of buildings ‘blind’ from each other, as a result, all the buildings are unique.

The Design District is part of the transformation of Greenwich Peninsula, London’s largest recreational project. The Design District will open its doors to its first tenants in 2020.

Laurence Grigorov believes that such custom built nodes would be beneficial for Johannesburg and allow for the upliftment of the city centre.

Laurence Grigorov

Written by

A property development professional, Johannesburg-native Laurence Grigorov attended Wits University as an undergraduate student.