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Old February 10th, 2011, 05:56 PM   #2141
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Good news - just a pity that the tower is no longer included in the development, would've been an amazing landmark.
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Old February 10th, 2011, 11:14 PM   #2142
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As part of the Crossrail rail link these buildings had to be demolished.



This central London site on the corner of Oxford St and Tottenham Court Road and opposite the landmark Centrepoint tower by 2018 will be the entrance for millions of people to central London. You would think a major competition would be held to find a landmark building but this is the best they can come up to.

If this leaves you underwhelmed please sign the petition to get something better and leave a comment and spread the word.

http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/oneoxfordstreet/

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Originally Posted by randolph View Post
I have set up a petition against the development at one oxford street, I invite people to join.


image hosted on flickr


image hosted on flickr


image hosted on flickr


image hosted on flickr


image hosted on flickr


http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/oneoxfordstreet


http://www.skyscrapercity.com/newrep...ply&p=68677055
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Old February 11th, 2011, 02:13 AM   #2143
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Definitely need some more signatures on the petition, i did mine first time around. The above pictures remind me of a 21st century version of a 1960s extension of a school around the corner from me...
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Old February 11th, 2011, 07:27 PM   #2144
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I don't have a lot of faith in petitions.
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Old February 12th, 2011, 12:51 AM   #2145
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Interior design firm completes phase one of Google's new London office

Scott Brownrigg Interior Design has created new 40,000 sq ft office space in Victoria, SW1, for Google at 123 Buckingham Palace Road, to accommodate over 300 staff.

The new office is designed to create a dynamic and collaborative work environment that supports the growing number of Google staff in London. As with many other Google offices worldwide, the offices in Central London have a strong local theme. Joe Borrett and Jane Preston from Google, working with the Scott Brownrigg Interior Design team chose a theme of London-Brighton and as a result many iconic elements of both are incorporated into the office design.

For example, brightly coloured timber beach huts are meeting rooms and giant colourful dice accommodate individual video conference booths, original dodgem cars and traditional red telephone booths are all work spaces available to staff and visitors.

Open plan workstations for all staff are mixed with a few offices, meeting rooms and open break out seating areas and support spaces for printing and IT technical support. Google look after the health and welfare of their staff in an exceptional way and Scott Brownrigg Interior Design has designed a fully fitted out gym/shower facility, massage and spa centre, and an Asian Fusion/Sushi restaurant that is free for all staff.

Ken Giannini, Interior Design Director of Scott Bownrigg stated: “It is little wonder that Google is one of the most desirable places to work in the UK. We have enjoyed every minute of this exciting project. All the Google staff are up for innovation, brilliant ideas and they like to be challenged. We also recognise that Google is a serious business and demands efficiency, value and solutions that can support their business practices. This project has it all - a fun working environment that also incorporates lots of practical solutions.”

Jane Preston, UK Facilities Manager at Google said: “The first impressions of visitors and our staff have been very positive. The project fits well with our real estate and HR strategy and will definitely help support our growth plans. We see the work environment as a major recruitment factor for us to compete for the best talent and this new office certainly does that.”
http://www.freeofficesearch.co.uk/Of...r=February2011
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Old February 13th, 2011, 08:54 AM   #2146
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London Super Sewer

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-12427748

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environmen...on-super-sewer
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Old February 17th, 2011, 05:25 PM   #2147
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Offices in outer London 'to enjoy more convenient commuting'

Offices in outer London will be better connected to the centre of the city when the new Crossrail gets up and running. Transport secretary Philip Hammond made the comments after it was announced that the London borough of Greenwich is set to receive a Crossrail station in Woolwich.

...
http://www.mellersh.co.uk/News.aspx?ArticleId=800410623
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Old February 18th, 2011, 02:07 AM   #2148
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South London station box to boost civil engineering recruitment

An agreement has been reached that will facilitate the development of a Crossrail station box in south-east London, which could create civil engineering jobs in the area.

Berkley Homes will now privately fund construction work on the station box - which could later be converted into a station - in Woolwich, after agreeing terms with the Department for Transport, Crossrail and Greenwich council.

This follows on from an outline agreement originally reached in 2007 and will support Berkley's wider development plans in the Woolwich area, where it intends to build more than 2,500 homes, as well as new office space and retail, dining and community facilities.

Berkley's Rob Perrins commented: "Berkeley has always been totally committed to having a Crossrail station within its flagship development at the Royal Arsenal and it is hoped that with the partners signing the contracts for the station box today that this will now become a reality."

It is anticipated that as many as 14,000 jobs in construction will be created at the height of construction work on the £16 billion Crossrail network, which will serve London and the wider south-east once it opens in 2017.
http://news.careerstructure.com/arti...g-recruitment/
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Old February 21st, 2011, 09:13 PM   #2149
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London's overlooked rail project

It is a massive engineering project that will deliver a mainline railway through the heart of London with Tube-like service frequency. It will connect multiple regional destinations on either side of the capital for the first time with a direct rail service.Yet it has been beset by controversy over its route, worries about its funding, and years of delay. Crossrail, right? Nope. It's the Thameslink upgrade.


The upgraded line will boast London's only mid-river station

'Gilded lily'?

The north-south rail-link, first opened up in the 1980s, has been somewhat overshadowed by its more glamorous east-west cousin, even though the new-and-improved Thameslink will become an equally significant part of the southeast of England's railway infrastructure.

"Crossrail's nice and shiny because it's a brand new line," says Gareth Edwards, editor of the London Reconnections blogsite. "People tend to see Thameslink as gilding the lily. But actually it's a lot more than that." The £6bn project - a third of the cost of Crossrail - will transform the cross-capital route.


Thameslink will become an equally significant part of the southeast's railway infrastructure

Peak train frequency will increase from the original 7-8 minutes, to 4 minutes currently, and 2-3 minutes by the end of the decade. And the current Brighton-to-Bedford route will add Cambridge, King's Lynn, Ashford and Eastbourne as destinations.

"It will be a really fast and reliable turn-up-and-go rail service," boasts London assembly member Caroline Pidgeon. "Once it's up-and-running, people will say, 'Oh my God, this is amazing.'" She points out the new London Overground network as an example of how introducing a high-frequency metro-style train service on an old line can unleash an astonishing amount of suppressed demand.


St Pancras, the only central London station finished so far, echoes the brutalist chic of the Jubilee line

Indeed, the route is already overcrowded, and the project is set to deliver a switch from 8-car to 12-car trains by this December. "50 stations are being lengthened," says Simon Brooks of Network Rail, the company managing the project. "In all, we're building 4km of new platform."

Underneath the arches

But the upgrade has not been without controversy. Thameslink has driven a coach and horses through the middle of Borough Market. Around two-dozen Dickensian listed buildings - including a large swathe of the Victorian covered market itself - are being demolished to make way for a new viaduct.

Local opposition was one factor behind the decades-long delay to a project that was originally conceived around 1990 and fate-temptingly named "Thameslink 2000". "People in the area thought: 'I've got a railway already, I've got loads of trains, I don't need any more,'" says Ms Pidgeon, who used to be on Southwark council. "They just saw it as a big nuisance, and understandably so." Yet Network Rail had little choice.

If it wants to run a high frequency service, then Thameslink cannot afford to share its lines with anyone else. And Borough Market is a notorious railway bottleneck, with the same tracks serving trains into Charing Cross and Cannon Street. Deciding where to put the new viaduct - which will free up the old viaduct for Thameslink-only services - cannot have been much fun.

The historic Wheatsheaf pub has lost its top floor, while the Globe pub now finds itself ignominiously wedged in between the brick arches of the old line and the steel frame of the new. "Wherever they put it, they were going to hit a significant number of listed buildings," says Mr Edwards of London Reconnections.

Hard cheese

But Ms Pidgeon says most locals have moved on, and few complain about the work in progress. That certainly seems to be the mood among the market's traders. "It's never as black as they paint it," says Maria, who now runs her cafe at a temporary plot right by the construction site. Her original cafe was compulsorily purchased by Network Rail, only for her new site within the market to fall within the viaduct's footprint, forcing her to relocate again.

But she is far from bitter, praising their responsiveness to "teething problems" such as the odd power cut. "Considering the size of the job, it is surprisingly quiet," she says. "They're working now. Can you hear anything?" The only din is from a train rumbling out of London Bridge.

"When you consider the immensity of the work being undertaken, it is amazing there is still a functioning market at all," says another long-time trader, whose cheese stall - like many others - has been rehoused during the interim in what used to be the carpark. He has nothing but admiration for the engineers.


The new Borough High St bridge is being assembled on top of the viaduct before being shunted into place

And although his relocation to a more obscure corner of the market has sapped business, he treats it as par for the course. The traders seem to accept that it is impossible to please everyone. A case in point is the work currently going on to put a bridge across Borough High Street. To avoid impeding traffic on the main road, the bridge is being assembled on top of the viaduct before being shunted across into place.

But one trader said this just means they have periodically had to block off Stoney Street instead - an important access point for deliveries to the market.

Joined-up thinking

Perhaps the most eye-catching part of the Thameslink project to-date is the nearly completed relocation of Blackfriars station onto the railway bridge straddling the Thames. "Soon we will have the sexiest railway station in the UK, and I intend to make it our unique selling point," says Carol Anderson, events director at the Mermaid conference centre that borders the carcass of the old station.

But she concedes that the station's temporary closure has hurt business in the meantime. The aesthetic impact of the new station is actually just a happy by-product of a concept that is entirely practical - namely to give access to the station from both sides of the river.

That means it will only be a short walk for tourists from the Tate Gallery, the Globe Theatre and other South Bank attractions. Ms Pidgeon at the London assembly has been lobbying for the station to be renamed "Blackfriars and Bankside" in recognition of its dual location. "It's going to be a big plus," says the duty manager at the Founder's Arms, a riverside pub conveniently sat between Blackfriars Bridge and the Tate.


Blackfriars' new terminus platforms will be built on top of the bright red piers of the first railway bridge

She says 90% of their business comes from tourists that happen across the pub as they walk the Thames path. They plan a refurbishment to help them accommodate the expected crowds of customers, although the building work has ironically killed business in the short-term, as the riverside pathway has been cut off for two years. Shifting the station onto the bridge also helps Network Rail solve a logistical problem.

The new Blackfriars will be reconfigured so that trains terminating there will not have to cross the path of the through-trains. In another startling innovation, these terminus platforms will be built on top of the bright red piers that are all that remain of the first Blackfriars railway bridge, demolished in 1985.

And creative thinking has also gone into the construction itself. Barges have been moored under the bridge so that supplies can be brought in by river, avoiding the need to clog up the roads.

Gordian knot

Two stops up the line, Farringdon station is set to become one of the most important interchanges in the country. Sitting just north of the City financial district, it will provide the nexus between Thameslink and Crossrail - not to mention the Metropolitan line - making the station a doubly busy destination.

That is certainly the hope of Kate, proprietor of the Castle pub, which faces what is now an enormous building site. "It's going to pump huge amounts of sales in," she says, noting plans to build a new shopping centre at the station. She bought the lease on the pub two months ago in anticipation of exactly that. But it has also been doubly painful during the building works.

She says business is down by half, and complains about numerous unannounced weekend station closures, which have killed trade from revellers heading for the local nightclubs - one of which has already shut down. "Farringdon is hugely complex," explains Network Rail's Simon Brooks. "For example, there are three different electrical supply systems at the station."


Farringdon station is perhaps the trickiest construction site on the line

The Thameslink work has had to incorporate a lot of stage-setting for the deeper Crossrail line, such foundation construction and dropping lift shafts. To help co-ordinate the work with the local community, Mr Brooks said they hold quarterly meetings with businesses and community representatives at Farringdon.


Crossrail intends to build retail space on top of the new joint ticket hall (left) to help fund their project

But on-site co-ordination has also been challenging, according to Mr Edwards at London Reconnections, with Network Rail, Crossrail and Transport for London often giving mixed messages about who is responsible for what.

'Catalyst'

Farringdon illustrates an important distinction between Crossrail and Thameslink. While Crossrail has had to attract a big chunk of private sector money - hence the shopfloors being built above the new Crossrail ticket office - Thameslink has been entirely funded by the government. For a perilous few months last year, it looked as if the axe was about to fall on the project after the Treasury chose to spare Crossrail from the spending review.

But in the end Thameslink was confirmed in full, albeit with a widely anticipated extra year's delay to 2019. Its reprieve may be partly because the improved rail service is a big selling point of many major commercial redevelopments in the capital, such as at Elephant and Castle in the south, or Brent Cross to the north.


The route coincides with several major private redevelopments, such as London Bridge's Shard

Mr Brooks claims the line upgrade has acted as a catalyst for urban regeneration. For example, the last stage of the project is the complete rebuild of London Bridge station, to increase the number of trains that can pass through the station. That work is intimately connected with the construction of the Shard - the UK's tallest skyscraper - right next door.

Indeed, the Shard's developers are funding construction of a new bus terminal and station concourse with direct access into the tower. "Developers like to put a picture of a new station, and facts and statistics about the number of trains, in their brochures," notes Mr Edwards.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-12480813
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Old February 21st, 2011, 10:01 PM   #2150
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nice
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Old February 23rd, 2011, 12:02 AM   #2151
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Technology companies rent most West End office space

Technology, media and telecoms companies have overtaken financial services as the biggest acquirer of office space in the West End for the first time since the dotcom crash. In the latest example of the boom in the sector, research by property agent King Sturge has found that TMT companies accounted for 23pc of rental agreements on West End offices in 2010, against 14pc for the financial sector.


Huge demand saw 3.3m sq ft of West End space leased in 2010

The demand is being driven by technology and web-based companies, whose access to millions of users is attracting significant investment in the sector. Facebook was recently valued at $50bn (£31bn) after Goldman Sachs invested in the company, but critics have warned of a potential repeat of the dotcom bubble, with many companies still struggling to make a profit.

It is the first time since 2000 that TMT occupiers have overtaken financial services, which includes banks, private equity and hedge funds. The sector is poised to repeat the feat this year. According to King Sturge, 20 companies are currently scouring the West End for 798,000 sq ft of office space, compared to 422,000 sq ft of space for financial services. Google, Twitter and Facebook are all understood to be looking to rent offices in Central London.

Catherine Jones, head of West End office research at King Sturge, said: “TMT is one of the few business sectors to have seen genuine expansion, and demand is such that occupiers are looking beyond the traditional boundaries of Soho into the wider West End market. This is also being driven by the availability of large, newly developed grade A space offering more attractive rental terms than the prime rents seen in the core of the West End. Furthermore, many of these new buildings, with large floor plates, are often efficient ‘cost in use’ for their occupants.”

The research predicts that the soaring demand from the sector, which meant 3.3m sq ft of space was leased in the West End last year, will drive rental values up sharply. After a 15.4pc gain to £75 per sq ft in 2010, the research forecasts that rents will rise by 14pc this year and by 11pc next year.

They will then break though the £100-per-sq-ft mark in 2013, which will take rents back to their value at the peak of the market in 2007.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/n...ce-space.html#
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Old February 23rd, 2011, 12:11 AM   #2152
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facebook was recently valued at $50 billion? wow good news

Last edited by SO143; February 23rd, 2011 at 12:21 AM.
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Old February 23rd, 2011, 09:11 PM   #2153
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Brightoil to Open London, Geneva Offices to Expand Fuel Trading

Brightoil Petroleum Holdings Ltd., a Chinese marine fuel supplier, plans to open offices in London and Geneva to increase trading of oil products.

The company is “expanding the existing business from trading purely fuel oil to a full array of petroleum products,” according to a statement filed to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange today.

Brightoil currently has overseas offices in Singapore and Houston to manage its trading business, it said. The company’s bunker fuel sales volume doubled to 3.4 million metric tons in 2010 from a year earlier, according to the company. Brightoil has bunker operations at ports in China, Singapore, Hong Kong and the Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp area.

“We are also relentlessly seeking opportunities to lease storage and terminal facilities from local operators, or to form strategic partnerships with storage owners, or construct our own facilities,” the company said in the statement.

Revenue for Brightoil’s international supply and bunkering segment amounted to HK$12.48 billion ($1.6 billion) for the six months ended Dec. 31. Of the total, 70 percent was contributed by its bunker business, while the remaining was earned through oil-product trading, the company said.
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-0...l-trading.html
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Old February 25th, 2011, 08:54 PM   #2154
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New West End Company submits plans for Oxford Street "shopper pavilion

The £2.1m development is part of a major new initiative spearheaded by New West End Company to help improve the public realm in London’s West End. Its purpose is to assist international tourists coming into London especially during the Olympics in 2012.



The 1,870 sq ft unit will be located on Old Cavendish Street, between the John Lewis and House of Fraser stores on Oxford Street. It will include a shopper information point, a café with outdoor seating under the canopy of a cantilevered roof and a public toilet facility. The shopper pavilion will be owned and managed by a not-for-profit company, Oasis Development Company which will be a partnership between House of Fraser, John Lewis Partnership, Land Securities, Derwent London, Great Portland Estates and The Crown Estate.


The proposal seeks to be one of the first to potentially capitalise on the use of public realm credits. This innovative approach, of forming a not-for-profit company to own and manage the pavilion, developed by Westminster City Council is currently out to consultation in other parts of the country.

Oasis will work closely with Westminster City Council, Transport for London and the New West End Company to execute the development. Should this new funding approach be adopted by the council, the Old Cavendish Street Visitor Pavilion could be one of the first major projects to benefit from the new approach, unique to the UK.

Richard Dickinson, chief executive of the New West End Company, said: “These are tough times for the public sector and both retailers and landowners want to play their part to help ensure that London’s West End continues to improve and is ready to welcome the million additional visitors anticipated during the Olympic Games.”

The retail economy in the West End is expected to receive a £100m boost from international visitors coming into London during the Olympics. To cater for their needs, including Chinese shoppers who spend an average of £857 on every transaction compared to the UK average of £120, the staff at the pavilion will be trained by the Global Blue Academy.

The academy is the UK’s authority on Chinese, Middle Eastern and Russian cultural trends and their shopping habits, and has the tools and knowledge to create the ultimate shopping experience for each nationality. The academy has been operating in the UK for more than 10 years and currently trains over 500 retailers across the UK.
http://www.propertyweek.com/news/new...014019.article
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Old February 26th, 2011, 04:48 PM   #2155
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The Savoy, London: Hotel review

Graham Boynton reviews The Savoy, the recently refurbished luxury hotel by the Thames in London.

The location

On the Strand within walking distance of Trafalgar Square, the West End theatres and Covent Garden. The Thames riverside provides one of London's finest views, a good reason to ask for a river room.

We like

Much has been made of the £220 million refurbishment, but it's the staff who really make the new Savoy work for me. Only 65 of the original 650 staff have returned after the three-year hiatus, but the 585 new recruits are eager and willing, and have blended in well with the hotel's traditions. All are courteous, attentive and efficient.

There is also the history of the Savoy and one is constantly, and appropriately, reminded that many of the great figures of the 20th century have passed along these hallways.

Not so keen

All the hoopla around the much-delayed reopening has created an atmosphere of voyeurism about the public areas that will, I hope, disappear over time. On most nights you have to stand in a queue to get into the American Bar. Fortunately, the more intriguing Beaufort Bar does not seem similarly oversubscribed.

The other guests

Exquisitely tailored men and elegant women in little black numbers are everywhere. Traditionally almost half the Savoy's guests are American and since the reopening last October they have come pouring back. Wealthy Russians are also in evidence.

The rooms

Two thirds are Edwardian and one third are Art Deco, with the former overlooking the Thames and the latter on the city side. All stylishly decorated by Pierre-Yves Rochon and all featuring the appropriate mod cons –flat- screen televisions, centralised light switches etc.

The food and drink

For all the criticisms of the design and layout of the new River Restaurant – and there are many – I thought the food was excellent. The cheek of pork and the steamed cod fillet are both outstanding. So too the desserts – especially the spiced rice pudding with apples poached in mulled wine. The famous Savoy Grill, managed by Gordon Ramsay, has had rave reviews.

Access for guests with disabilities

The hotel has overhauled access and facilities for disabled guests. It is now fully wheelchair-accessible, and there are a number of rooms specifically designed for wheelchair accessibility.

The bottom line

Rooms from £350 a night and suites from £1,100 a night, excluding VAT.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/ho...el-review.html
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Old February 26th, 2011, 08:26 PM   #2156
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Bulgari Hotel to Open in London's Exclusive Knightsbridge Neighborhood

The luxury hotel located in Knightsbridge, the most prestigious area of Central London next to Hyde Park, is the third hotel project of Bulgari Hotels & Resorts, after the opening of the Bulgari Hotel in Milan in 2004 and of the Bulgari Resort in Bali in 2006.

The Bulgari Hotel in London was designed for Bulgari by the renowned architectural firm Antonio Citterio, Patricia Viel & Partners, with Squire and Partners as the local architect for the project. With the contemporary style and outstanding service and design for which Bulgari is famous, the hotel will feature sleek lines and refined colour combinations created using a variety of marbles, fine woods, and unique details. Silver is the dominant theme of the interior design. The ancient yet timeless metal - a tribute to Bulgari’s origins as a silversmith and to Britain’s noble manufacturing traditions – expresses understated, poised elegance in line with the style of the Bulgari Hotels.

The Bulgari Hotel, London has been designed to incorporate the highest standards of environmental sustainability, and it has already been awarded Best Hotel and Development at the prestigious UK Property Awards 2010 in association with Bloomberg Television.

The hotel, with its 85 rooms and suites -- including seven extraordinary Bulgari suites, each more than 200 square meters large -- will offer a unique combination of refined amenities and exclusive services. Its restaurant and bar were designed to become the destination of choice in Knightsbridge. The hotel will also feature a large ballroom, a private cinema and a 2,000 square meter SPA and fitness centre with 25 meter indoor pool.

Francesco Trapani, CEO of Bulgari Group, said, “We are extremely proud to be able to open a Bulgari Hotel in the heart of London, something that we have wanted to do for a long time. This hotel - - the first new hotel built in London in over 40 years – will be another important element in the Bulgari Hotels & Resorts project. I’m convinced that it will be a further statement of our brand in the UK, which is a strategic market for luxury goods.”

Antonio Citterio said, “Constructing a new building in this part of London is an event because the city tends to be extremely conservative due to its consolidated urban plan. The architectural style of the project reflects the rigour of the Bulgari Hotel in Milan: its classic, solid, contemporary style will consolidate the urban landscape in an area of London that is undergoing a profound transformation. In this sense, the use of Portland stone and bronze, which are typical materials of a certain architectural style of public buildings in London, and the precise façade design reveal a rigorous, modern approach to the theme.”

Lord David Puttnam, Chairman of Prime Development, said: " We are delighted to be working with Bulgari on this extremely exciting project. The hard work and dedication of everyone involved means we are firmly on track for the delivery in 2012 of an outstanding product which will raise the bar for standards of service and elegance within the Knightsbridge luxury hotel market while maintaining a modern approach to sustainability. The vision behind the Bulgari hotel and the attention to detail that characterises its design and construction epitomise the hard work that has been put in the project and I look forward to its opening in 2012.
http://www.luxurytravelmagazine.com/...od-15380-2.php
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Old February 27th, 2011, 10:00 PM   #2157
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From 24th February.

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Global Pharmaceutical Giant's Headquarters Opens in London

The Mayor of London Boris Johnson today opened the new global headquarters of pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca in Paddington, confirming that the capital is a great location for international businesses.

In a sign of the company’s continued commitment to London, AstraZeneca has moved its current global headquarters across town from Mayfair to brand new and larger offices in the landmark Two Kingdom Street development, Paddington Central. This major boost to London’s business credentials follows the recent announcement by global investment bank JP Morgan, to establish its European headquarters in Canary Wharf.

With close links to many leading London universities, Cancer Research UK and the Medical Research Council, AstraZeneca will employ around 350 people over three floors in its new HQ. This includes 90 staff from its global marketing and sales divisions, some of whom are relocating from its US and Brussels operations.

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: "It’s no surprise that another great global company is investing in the world’s best city to do business in. What a perfect choice of location they have made in Paddington. This once derelict part of London has transformed itself into a thriving new business district providing quick access to the capital’s transport network, its airports and its centres of world class research. With Crossrail passing through Paddington in the near future, many more businesses will be heading west to reap the huge business benefits AstraZeneca has discovered in this fantastic corner of the capital."

David Brennan, AstraZeneca Chief Executive Officer, said: "We are really delighted that the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, was able to celebrate with staff as we marked the opening of our new global headquarters. London is a world class city with a vibrant financial centre, with improving transport links and, being based in Paddington, we now have even better access to Heathrow Airport."
http://www.freshbusinessthinking.com...pens+in+London
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Old February 28th, 2011, 11:52 PM   #2158
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Offices in central London could see high-speed rail network

A high-speed rail network could connect offices in central London to businesses and clients in Manchester within approximately 75 minutes. Companies with offices in central London are also set to enjoy quicker travel between Birmingham and Leeds should the proposal be given the green light.

The train network would significantly reduce the time taken to the capital from other major cities in the UK.

Phillip Hammond, the transport secretary, has launched a consultation into the project, although work would not start on the new system for several years. Despite this, with the potential for businesses to be opened up to other regions, establishing a base in offices in central London now could leave firms well placed for future growth. The Metro published findings from a TNS-BMRB poll which found that almost 50 per cent of people questioned supported the 250 mph train travel link.

Birmingham and London could be connected within 50 minutes. The newspaper reported Mr Hammond as saying: "This poll shows that, across Britain, five times as many people support our planned high-speed rail network as oppose it."
http://www.mellersh.co.uk/News.aspx?ArticleId=800430852
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Old March 1st, 2011, 01:11 PM   #2159
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Partington's Cucumber gets green light

Robin Partington Architects has landed outline planning for its Merchant Square scheme in Paddington featuring a cylindrical 42-storey skyscraper, dubbed the Cucumber Tower.

Westminster Council approved the scheme in west London, which is backed by billionaire brothers Simon and David Reuben, despite the project coming in for heavy criticism from CABE (see below). The centrepiece tower will house 222 flats, a boutique hotel with a terrace cafe and a roof top sky bar and will be clad in ‘midnight blue’ ceramic panels.

Initial agreement was also given to three other buildings around the canalside site including a 17-storey office building, including shopping space,a 21-storey mixed-use residential, retail and community building and a 15-storey block containing 119 homes and medical facilities.

Planning committee chairman Alastair Moss said: ‘We have given our approval to certain key aspects of these detailed plans including the height and design of the buildings and the public realm between them.

‘The architectural designs are impressive. They could deliver an iconic addition to London’s skyline and serve as a focal point for Paddington and the surrounding area. We now wait for further details of the environmental impact and the other planning benefits to be provided as part of the development before a final planning judgement is made.’

Partington hit back at CABE’s criticism of the development, saying the project had been almost universally well-received by all the other stakeholders.









http://www.architectsjournal.co.uk/n...11101.article#
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Old March 1st, 2011, 08:55 PM   #2160
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Interest soaring in London land

Competition for land in London is hitting pre-recession levels, as international investors prepare to inject more than £5bn into the city’s lucrative residential property market.

The money, more than £1bn of which has been raised since the start of the year, will target high-end developments and could lead to the construction of about 10,000 homes in the capital. The wave of interest is causing land prices to soar, as the investors bid aggressively for new sites, according to the companies operating in the capital’s already congested housebuilding market.

“That money just wasn’t there before the beginning of the year and has really started to appear as people move from protection to investment mode,” said Rob Perrins, chief executive of Berkeley Group, London’s largest housebuilder.

“The upshot is that we are now seeing a lot more of these people at land auctions and it is pushing up the cost of getting hold of sites which already have planning consent and can be developed quickly.” London is particularly attractive to investors because its property market has been relatively insulated from the pressures felt elsewhere in the UK on the back of the government austerity measures.

Rents have grown strongly in the past year on solid tenant demand, although this rise has recently tailed off. Even so, it is forecast that as many as one in five households will live in privately rented accommodation by 2015, an increase from one in seven at present.

The challenge for investors is to find developers with the capacity to build enough to create economies of scale in a relatively low-yielding asset class. One strategy has been to focus on the niche, high-end residential sector, where supply is short and demand from overseas buyers high.

Carlyle, the private equity group, last year agreed to buy and fund the development of a new block of prime residences in Chelsea, which is expected to be the first of several such deals. Mr Perrins said his company, had not been approached as a development partner. However, other London-based housebuilders have entered into ventures.

Aviva, the insurance group, last year teamed up with east-London developer Telford as part of a bid to create a £1bn portfolio of new-build rental apartments. Barratt, the UK’s largest housebuilder by volume, last week said it was keen to find a partner to build up a rental portfolio.

As well as the £5.3bn targeting London, investors have raised £2.2bn to set up residential developments in other parts of the UK, according to new research published by CB Richard Ellis, the world’s largest property services group. “The total level of interest from investors in the UK residential market relative to the overall level of investment and development is clearly significant, but pinpointing the investors that are ready to commit and at what cost of capital is the key,” said Chris Lacey, executive director at CB Richard Ellis.
http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/1ce05d10-4...#axzz1FNLUyvW1
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