St Katharine Docks

A converted coal barge
moored in the east dock.

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The French Connection

Spring 2016

If you’re a St. Katharine Docks regular, you may have pondered the story behind Matrix Island – a converted coal barge moored in the east dock.

Matrix Island is the embodiment of St. Katharine Docks – a wonderful legacy from the era of maritime excellence.

Its history – past and present – is resolutely French. The riveted steel barge could be found cruising the River Seine in Paris during the 1920s, before being retired and purchased by a French film producer. Matrix Island was transformed beyond recognition to become an inspiring entity – with nods to the Art Deco era, dashes of monochrome film noire chic and a metal staircase reclaimed from a Renault factory just outside Paris. In 2012 the vessel was sold on – to another French owner – who embellished the look even further with sophisticated nautical notes and a slightly more urban feel. Matrix Island now provides an inspiring place of work, with an ever-changing view that allows creative ideas to flow.