London landmark

Wednesday 28 Feb 2007

Alsop adds colour to City

A landmark redevelopment scheme featuring a 43-storey tower at 151 City Road, London EC1 will be unveiled this week. The groundbreaking scheme designed by SMC Alsop for Enddora Holdings Ltd, part of the Access Self Storage Group, is located on a site on City Road, close to Old Street roundabout, opposite the Moorfields Eye Hospital and adjacent to the recently approved, 27-storey tower Eagle House, designed by Terry Farrell. The proposal brings together a unique combination of land uses which, together with the size of the site and its context, has led Will Alsop to create a pioneering new building-type, fusing large scale art, sculpture and architecture. The building will include retail and bars, self-storage, business centre, fitness centre and apart-hotel. The self storage proposals, stacked vertically rather than along the ground, represent a major new departure for self storage in this country, bringing the facility into the middle of town rather than its traditional edge of town location. Double height retail and restaurants are located at ground floor on City Road, with entrances to the self-storage on Britannia Walk and the apart-hotel, business centre and leisure uses on Provost Street. Level 42 is given over to a public bar and viewing gallery. Describing the scheme architect Will Alsop says, "It's an incredibly exciting project - essentially the whole building is conceived as an artwork including Bruce McLean's piece, the coloured solar siphons, and the building form - sculpted and faceted so that the perception of the tower changes from every perspective." Measures to integrate sustainability and energy reduction are fully incorporated in the building's design through the choice of on-site renewables and the integration of an innovative natural ventilation system. The building tapers and twists to allow daylight penetration at street level. Articulated chimneys known as solar siphons wrap around the building fabric like a striped shirt giving the impression of slenderness and at the same time providing natural ventilation to the hotel apartments. This dramatically reduces the need for mechanical air-conditioning and substantially reduces the Development's overall carbon footprint. Speaking of the project, independent townscape assessor, Richard Coleman said "Will Alsop is able to bring joy to hearts, minds and eyes of people through the most diverse of building uses. At City Road the project is a rich mix of uses within a total work of art made explicit through the 15-storey work by artist Bruce McLean. It is symptomatic of the City Road site that a tall elegant building of such beauty as is proposed, enhances a poor townscape edge to Hackney without infringing any distant views vistas or heritage areas." The scheme will be unveiled at a public exhibition, opening this week on the site at 151 City Road, which is part of the public consultation exercise, intended to provide an opportunity for local residents and office workers to view the proposals. Following this exhibition it is intended that the scheme will be submitted to the London Borough of Hackney for planning in early April.

Key Facts:

United Kingdom
Urban design

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