• 9th February 2018

East Side Plaza – Gunwharf Quays, Portsmouth.

This month’s featured building is known by many names.

Formally known as No1. Gunwharf Quays or The East Side Plaza and has also been nicknamed by locals the ‘lipstick tower’ because of its shape. The post-modern building was designed by Broadway Malyan [1] and Scott Brownrigg [6] to symbolise a ship’s funnel and compliment the neighbouring Spinnaker Tower, which is shaped like a sail.

“Scott Brownrigg has worked closely with Berkeley Homes to create a memorable landmark building which reflects the feelings of aspiration and confidence that surround the city of Portsmouth”

                                                                                                            Scott Brownrigg


The tower was the flagship of a 3-part project that consisted of The Blue Building, The Crescent and The East Size Plaza tower (No1. Gunwharf Quays). The £50m project was completed in 2010 and has been an iconic addition to the Portsmouth skyline.



The building stands at nearly 100 metres tall with 29 floors offering studio, 1, 2 and 3 bedroom apartments. When first built, the East Side Plaza (No.1 Gunwharf Quays) was the tallest residential building on the south coast. The top floors boast impressive panoramic views of Portsmouth Harbour, the Solent and the Isle of Wight. The building is highly sought after, resulting in prices starting at £1,700 a month rent and £599,950 to buy [5].

The dramatic glass-fronted tower is located in Gunwharf Quays, which is home to several designer outlets and restaurants, a cinema, bowling complex, casino and multiple nightclubs. Gunwharf Quays has strong links to Portsmouth’s naval history as the land was previously used as a naval base where in the early 1940s it was used to train the majority of the Navy’s mine divers and played an integral part in the D-Day preparations [2]. The land was later sold to the council who tasked Berkley Homes to develop the site.


The building won Best Urban Regeneration Housing Scheme in 2004 [3]. A government lead programme, encouraging the redevelopment of buildings to create a sense of community and act as a catalyst for improvements across the UK [4].

You can probably understand why we chose this particular building as our featured building for this month. With strong links to Portsmouth’s heritage, the significance of the land it’s built on and its neighbouring buildings, we think that the East Side Plaza (No1. Gunwharf Quays) is both a functional and visual asset to the South Coast.


5 Facts about No1. Gunwharf Quays

  1. When it was first built, Gunwharf Quays (home of No1. Gunwharf Quays) was the largest man made marine deck in Europe.
  2. The tower won best Urban Regeneration Housing Scheme in 2004.
  3. The penthouse spans 2 floors and is approximately 4,000 square feet and had an impressive valuation of £2m in 2009 [7].
  4. When first built, the No1. Gunwharf Quays tower was the tallest residential building on the south coast.
  5. The project which consisted of 3 parts; The Blue Building, The Crescent and The East Side Plaza (No1. Gunwharf Quays) cost £50m and was completed in 2010.


  1. http://www.designdeliveryunit.com/projects/east-side-plaza-gunwharf-quays/
  2. https://gunwharf-quays.com/history-gunwharf-quays
  3. http://www.designdeliveryunit.com/projects/east-side-plaza-gunwharf-quays/
  4. https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200304/cmselect/cmodpm/47/47.pdf
  5. https://www.portsmouth.co.uk/news/nice-view-it-should-be-for-163-2m-1-1229782
  6. https://www.portsmouth.co.uk/lifestyle/real-life/n-berkeley-homes-glamorous-contemporary-home-has-been-furnished-and-decorated-in-sensational-style-1-1292596



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