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Old April 1st, 2011, 08:34 PM   #2221
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The area is being flooded with investments, good one.
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Old April 1st, 2011, 09:11 PM   #2222
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European brokerage house move to new City office

European brokers XTB UK Ltd have opened their first offices in the UK at 75 Shoe Lane, EC4. The firm has taken 1,350 sq ft of office space in the heart of the City of London.

The first floor accommodation has been fully refurbished by landlord City of London who will receive £18 per sq ft on a five year lease. 75 Shoe Lane is conveniently located for Chancery Lane and Blackfriars underground stations.

Farebrother and Strutt & Parker advised City of London, H2SO advised XTB UK. XTB is a leading European brokerage house specialising in financial instruments traded over both the OTC market and major stock exchanges.
http://www.freeofficesearch.co.uk/Of...ew-City-Office
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Old April 1st, 2011, 11:41 PM   #2223
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Prime London market booming

As the lead-up to the Olympics gathers pace, the top end of the London property market is booming. Knight Frank report that luxury properties in the capital have seen a 24% price increase since their post-credit-crunch low in March 2009, and Savills quote a 4.6% annual rise in prime London values in 2010 compared with the Nationwide's figure for the mainstream UK market of just 0.4%.

Overseas buyers and investors are playing a large role in underpinning demand for luxury homes: London is still seen as a safe haven for investment, and the exchange rate continues to favour the Euro. According to Savills, foreign buyers accounted for 53% of all prime central London property purchases in the past two years, growing from 45% in the preceding three years, and were even more active in the super-prime market.

By contrast, British buyers are driving demand for good family houses in areas such as Richmond, Wandsworth and Barnes. This is having a positive effect on local prices-prime south-west London saw a 7.8% increase in 2010, and is virtually back to peak levels. Those who can't find the right property to buy are renting instead-rents for upmarket London properties rose by 1.5% during the final quarter of 2010, putting annual growth at a massive 11.5% and nearly bridging the gap with the March 2008 peak.

Although prime and super-prime properties are out-performing the rest of the market, and family houses are in short supply, another significant slice of the London market is the pied à terre-a one- or two-bedroom flat used as a base during the week by those whose primary residence is in the country. Again, demand for this kind of property is mostly powered by British buyers.

‘This is a very large part of the market from South Kensington into Chelsea, Marylebone, Bayswater and Fitzrovia, and even into the Barbican,' explains Liam Bailey of Knight Frank. Indeed, in Tower Bridge, Chesterton Humberts reports that 28% of all sales in 2010 were to pied à terre buyers.
The reasoning behind these purchases is sound: you limit frustrating and expensive commutes while making a good long-term investment. These flats are also useful for children who need a place to stay when in town, and as a base for shopping expeditions (a Kensington and Chelsea parking permit is a particular bonus).

Most pied à terre buyers have a budget of £500,000 to £800,000, and are looking for a one- or two-bedroom property that has easy access to both the office and the country house. ‘The convenience of the location takes precedence over almost anything else,' Mr Bailey says. Jonathan Hewlett at Savills agrees, adding that he's seen an increasing number of people looking to walk to work: ‘People are walking more, and further. A half-hour walk along the river is much more pleasant than braving the Tube.'

Pied à terre buyers tend to opt for a first- or second-floor flat in a smart period terraced house in central west London. Pimlico is a particularly popular choice Douglas and Gordon (020-7931 8200) have an elegant flat on Warwick Square currently arranged as a one-bedroom (with a study/second bedroom) for £895,000. South Kensington also fits the bill of convenient locations. Here, Knight Frank (020-7349 4300) are selling a one-bedroom flat with fabulous views over Evelyn Gardens for £625,000 (leasehold; the extension of the lease would cost about £225,000-£250,000).

New-build apartments aren't generally as popular among pied à terre buyers, chiefly because they're expensive. Instead, developments such as NEO Bankside, by Tate Modern, which are being built to extremely exacting specifications with price tags to match, tend to appeal more to investors and foreign buyers.

Double renters hold onto London equity

Double renters are either young families who let their London house to rent in the country, usually to be close to a desirable school in their chosen area prior to buying, or downsizers renting out their country house and moving into a smaller country property, or back to the capital. For the former group, letting their London house is a great way to hold onto the equity over time, and for the latter, it's a perfect way to adjust to a different pace of life while keeping all the options open.

For those renting out London houses, the property needs to meet the high standards of the international business community, which demands managed properties set in central locations. Those letting out their country house find that good schools drive the majority of the demand in the Home Counties.
http://www.countrylife.co.uk/news/ar...t-booming.html
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Old April 2nd, 2011, 01:07 AM   #2224
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Tottenham Court Road station upgrade moves into new phase


BY A. SAMUEL · APRIL 1, 2011 · UNDERGROUND

Tottenham Court Road station is more than 100 years old and was not designed to be used by the 147,000 people that currently pass through it every day. Photo Credit Sunil Prasannan.

Work to transform Tottenham Court Road station into a new gateway to the West End will step up a gear this weekend.

As the £500m station upgrade moves into its next important stage, the Northern line won’t stop at the station from 2 April until late November.

Tottenham Court Road station is more than 100 years old and was not designed to be used by the 147,000 people that currently pass through it every day.

With the growth in passengers using the Tube and the arrival of Crossrail, that number is expected to grow to more than 200,000.

As part of the Tube Upgrade Plan, London Underground is transforming the station to:

Increase the size of the ticket hall by nearly six times
Introduce step-free access from street to platform
Provide four new or modernised entrances
Deliver new escalators and improved interchanges between platforms
Connect with a new Crossrail ticket hall at Dean Street.
London Underground’s Strategy & Commercial Director Richard Parry said: ‘Tottenham Court Road station is set to become one of the busiest and most important stations in the Capital once Crossrail and the station upgrade are complete.


‘The changes we are making to the station will transform it, with a massive increase in capacity, new entrances and step-free access.

‘But the size and scale of the works mean we will need to close the Northern line platforms until November.

‘I ask our customers and local businesses and residents to bear with us, it will be worth it.’

Central line services at the station will run as normal and the Northern line platforms will be back in service well in time for Christmas.

Passengers wishing to use the Northern line are advised to use nearby Goodge Street or Leicester Square.
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Old April 2nd, 2011, 02:14 AM   #2225
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Boris Johnson announces £50m fund for outer London


Mr Johnson rode to power on a wave of outer London resentment

A £50m fund has been announced by Mayor of London Boris Johnson to boost regeneration in outer London.

Mr Johnson claimed he had battled hard for the money, which was left over when the government wound up the London Development Agency.

It will be used to establish business districts and stimulate growth.

But London's Labour Party said Mr Johnson had neglected outer London, claiming the announcement was politically motivated.

Revealing the new fund on a visit to Bromley, south London, Mr Johnson said: "This fund is a vital shot in the arm for our town centres and just the help needed to get new projects off the ground that wouldn't otherwise happen.

"I am delighted that after months of hard negotiations we have secured a significant pot of money to help projects really motor and we now have the means to nurture developments, increase work and leisure opportunities and make futures bright.

"It is vital we address the historic neglect of the outer boroughs that preceded this mayoralty and this is one of the ways we can start delivering growth."

Boroughs that qualify will be able to apply for a slice of the fund to pay for regeneration schemes.

But Mr Johnson rival for the 2012 mayoral election, Ken Livingstone, retorted: "It has taken three years, but finally the outer London boroughs are getting investment.

"The first thing he did [after coming to power] was cancel all the transport improvements planned for outer London."

During the last mayoral campaign residents of outer London boroughs backed Mr Johnson by a big margin.

During his reign Mr Livingstone was also accused of neglecting the outer ring in favour of inner London communities.
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Old April 2nd, 2011, 08:42 AM   #2226
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Mayor wants to create two more central business districts like Canary Wharf



Boris Johnson plans to bid for two more enterprise zones for London to help boost the capital's economy.

The Mayor hopes to create Canary Wharf-style business neighbourhoods in Croydon and Tottenham.

He was given approval by the Treasury last night to apply for extra zones in addition to the one already announced for the Royal Docks. George Osborne heralded the return of the enterprise areas, pioneered by Margaret Thatcher, in his Budget yesterday in a bid to boost growth.

Some 21 new zones will be created offering firms deep discounts on business rates, super-fast broadband and reduced planning restrictions.

The Treasury confirmed that all the zones would be up and running from April next year.

More than 300 acres in London's historic Royal Docks, adjacent to City airport, will be given enterprise zone status, potentially creating thousands of jobs.

Business owners in the Newham zone said today it was "fantastic news" for one of the capital's most deprived areas. Jim Shaikh, 44, who runs Yoomi, a business that sells self-warming baby bottles, said: "We had thought about moving out of Newham but with these enterprise zone changes coming in, it would definitely encourage us to stay. It could totally regenerate the area."

He added: "Royal Docks is a place that is ripe for growth. Hopefully this enterprise zone is going to really improve this place and made it a real hub for big and small businesses." But he said for that to happen transport links needed to improve.

Ramez Mohabaty, from Best4business Accountants, said: "We operate locally so anything that brings more businesses into this area is a fantastic thing for us."

The zone will be set up in the first wave and the Treasury has invited bids from local authorities for the creation of 10 more.

The Mayor wants two extra zones so Croydon and Tottenham benefit from the same perks. He has already been in talks with Haringey council about setting up a development corporation in Tottenham.

Although the other proposed area, Croydon, is an established business community and is much wealthier, City Hall aides said it had been hit during the downturn and showed great promise as a growth area.

The capital's recently created Local Enterprise Partnership will be allowed to keep any extra business rates raised for up to 25 years to promote growth elsewhere in the capital.
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Old April 2nd, 2011, 11:38 AM   #2227
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Hammerson plans £350m City tower

Hammerson has submitted plans for a new £350m residential tower and major office development that will drive expansion of the Square Mile beyond its traditional boundaries.



The new mixed-use scheme, called Principal Place and designed by Foster and Partners, will also include a 591,000 sq ft office building which will be suitable for a headquarters.

The FTSE 100 company has revised its original plans for Bishops Place on Shoreditch High Street and now aims to develop a residential tower with 243 apartments which will target the growing demand for quality accommodation in the City.

The new mixed-use scheme, called Principal Place and designed by Foster and Partners, will also include a 591,000 sq ft office building which will be suitable for a headquarters.

The offices will have some of the largest floors in the City at 40,000 sq ft.

It is understood that Hammerson will seek a pre-let on the building before launching development and may partner with a traditional residential developer on the apartments.

Martin Jepson, London managing director, said: "The evolution of the scheme means we can now offer a high quality differentiated office product to City occupiers at a time when there is modest supply for this type of building."
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Old April 2nd, 2011, 12:22 PM   #2228
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£70m London Blackfriars office tower approved



Blackfriars Road, a multi-storey mixed-use scheme in London, designed by Allford Hall Monoghan Morris architects, has been granted planning permission by Southwark’s planning committee.

Developer Great Portland Estates has won planning permission for its 20-storey office scheme on Blackfriars Road in south London.

Southwark Council approved the £70m scheme for a glass and aluminium-clad building after the developer resubmitted its plans for the site on the south bank of the Thames.

Great Portland Estates aims to start construction work on the 80m high building later this year so that the 180,000 sq ft of offices are ready for tenants in 2013.

The building, designed by Allford Hall Monaghan Morris, is a revised version of a scheme which received permission in 2007.

The site has remained dormant for three years after original buildings were demolished.
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Old April 2nd, 2011, 02:28 PM   #2229
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London always renewing itself. Lovely
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Old April 2nd, 2011, 03:57 PM   #2230
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I'm curious for that Blackfriars tower because the present renders are not very clear.
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Old April 2nd, 2011, 04:08 PM   #2231
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Lol...Porto has competition...
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Old April 2nd, 2011, 09:01 PM   #2232
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Green light for £80m Royal Docks 'eco' block


Silvertree project gets electricity and heating from solar source

An £80m ’eco’ tower block at the Royal Docks has been granted planning permission, with a view to starting construction this summer.

The 24-storey Silvertree development will include 161 one, two and three bedroom apartments, as well as retail, office and commercial units, and a café located on the ground floor.

Completion is expected in 2012.

The building will be wrapped with curved aluminum bands on two sides that will provide solar shading and electrical power from embedded photovoltaic panels and solar water heating.

Richard Hywel Evans of Studio RHE, the architect behind Silvertree, said, “Silvertree’s solar PV panels, use of ground source and biomass to generate heat combined with high levels of thermal insulation mean not only will it feel comfortable to live in but it will also cost residents very little to run.

It takes contemporary apartment living in London to new heights.”
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Old April 2nd, 2011, 09:09 PM   #2233
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Originally Posted by BodgeJob1 View Post
Lol...Porto has competition...
He is just my closest ally in this thread no competitor
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Old April 2nd, 2011, 09:56 PM   #2234
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Oxford Street goes shopping

The eastern end of London’s Oxford Street is in dire need of some street cred. Happily a £2bn revamp is on its way, spurred on by Crossrail. So what are the plans, who are the main players and where should you look for work?


London’s Oxford Street is about to undergo its biggest transformation since the Second World War: over the next seven years a massive £2bn worth of investment will be poured into the area. And for the 200 million beleaguered shoppers and visitors who flock there each year, it won’t come a moment too soon. London’s most iconic retail destination has long been on the wane, looking these days seedy, sleazy and well past its sell-by date (see Ike Ijeh’s piece).

Now, at last, there is hope. The £200m Crossrail development at St Giles Circus is acting as a massive spur to the area’s regeneration. There will be more than 30 million additional visitors a year to the West End once the station opens in 2017. To cater for these visitors, developers are zoning in on the area - which means opportunities for construction firms to win work in this part of London are coming in thick and fast.

There are three key landlords with upcoming projects you need to know to win work: Derwent, Land Securities, and Great Portland Estates (GPE). Lazari Investments has also historically carried out much work in the area. Just last month GPE swapped a freehold on its 79/89 Oxford Street building with plans to develop an 82,000ft2 retail and commercial building worth about £100m. And Derwent has 1.5 million ft2 of property in the area out of a total property portfolio of 5.5 million ft2. Phase one of its Central Cross development (see page 38) is due to go out to tender in June seeking design and build contractors. “We see enormous potential for this area,” says Paul Williams, an executive director at Derwent. “Contractors should know that there is plenty of work in the pipeline.”

And it’s not just the developers pushing things forward. Back in 2007, Westminster and Camden councils drew up action plans for the area outlining potential sites for development. The plan - known as the Oxford, Regent and Bond Street plan - also vowed to improve the public realm with wider footpaths, improved lighting and more cycle routes. The councils are committed to this vision despite the recession.

Richard Dickinson, chief executive of business interest group New West End Company, says: “We want to work with key partners in the public and private sector to create a vibrant area for London. It will be fashionable and edgy, with St Giles Cross being the exciting gateway to the West End.”

The project furthest along in construction is the Primark clothes store due to open just before Christmas. The £105m scheme at the eastern end will be its second on Oxford Street - the first is at the western end, near Marble Arch. The different rental rates of the two zones shows just what sort of potential there is for a retail boom at this end of the street. For the store in the prime zone west of Oxford Circus, Primark pays the average retail rent of £550/ft2. But rent on the new store on Oxford Street east is just £250/ft2.

But Primark is just the beginning. Expect to see the street transformed in preparation for the completion of the Crossrail station. So what are the key developments along Oxford Street that are likely to bring in work? We highlight six of them below.



1 Oxford Street

Developer: Derwent
Value: £175m approx
Ft2: 277,000ft2
Completion: 2017 approx

Details: The historic Astoria venue was located on this block before being demolished in 2009 to accommodate the Crossrail development. Derwent has the option of acquiring the site on completion of the Crossrail works in 2016. A planning submission is expected mid-2011 with designs and content being drawn up now. The proposed development is likely to include a new theatre alongside a mix of retail and office units. The development will be fronted by an urban public plaza which will run adjacent to the Crossrail interchange. Derwent views the acquisition as a potential money-spinner which complements their reputation as regeneration specialists. Funding for the scheme is expected to come through a public private partnership. Graham King from Westminster council says he expects to see the theatre developed by 2020 at the latest.



18-30 TCR/1-2 Stephen Street

Developer: Derwent
Value: £25m approx
Ft2: 251,000

Details: Historically the Central Cross site has had disparate ownership with little to no development. In August, Derwent purchased the property for £146m. It has submitted plans for a phased refurbishment and extension of the property. 64,000ft2 of office space will be refurbished soon and a 140m glass frontage is due to be constructed before 2012. The final stage of the project involves extending the retail space by 40,000ft2. Almost 90% of the rental income comes from the three principal tenants: Fremantle Media, Ascent Media and S Technologies. Derwent’s Paul Williams says the development is the first of many planned by the property firm with contract bids being sought in June this year. “There will be major demand for refurbishment works at Central Cross,” says WIlliams. “We will likely need a design and build contractor who can work with tenants in occupied buildings.”

More details from Barbour ABI
Alterations and extension to entrance, new canopy, green roof and associated works: £200,000
Architect: Orms Designers & Architects Limited



80 Charlotte Street

Developer: Derwent
Value: £125m approx
Ft2: 320,000
Completion: 2015

Details: Derwent has submitted plans to Camden council to part-demolish and redevelop this site. Under the proposals there will be a part demolition of Charlotte Mews and part of the corner of Chitty Street and Whitfield Street. If approved, the mixed-use scheme will include fashion outlets, offices, restaurants and apartments. There are also provisions for a “pocket park”. In total the development will incorporate a 1.4 acre site. Derwent will re-acquire the building in 2013 when the current lease expires. Residents have been invited to view the plans at Derwent’s Fitzrovia Gallery and submit proposal suggestions. Camden council’s development control committee will make a decision on the application later this year.



73/77 and 79/89 Oxford Street

Developer: Great Portland Estate
Value: Undecided
Ft2: 82,190
Completion: 2014

Details: Last month Great Portland Estates swapped its freehold interest in 79/89 Oxford Street for a 250-year leasehold interest at both 79/89 Oxford Street and the adjoining 73/77 Oxford Street. Plans for the site have yet to be finalised but a £100m retail development has been mooted. The properties are ideally located at the corner of Oxford Street and adjacent to the Dean Street Crossrail station that is under development. Toby Courtauld, chief executive with GPE, said: “The properties are located in an exciting area of Central London set for major change and which, in the fullness of time, will offer a first class retail and office development opportunity.”



18/24 Oxford Street

Developer: Land Securities and Frogmore
Value: £105m shopping centre
Ft2: 141,000
Completion: December 2011

Details: Primark will open its second store on Oxford Street at this site. Occupying 85,000ft2, the new store will be the largest in the area. Oriana JV, a 50/50 joint venture between Land Securities and Frogmore, is behind the development. Small retail units will occupy the remaining space. The development combines the former Virgin/Zavvi store, a new build at 18/24 Oxford Street and a unit fronting onto Tottenham Court Road. McLaren started construction on site early last year and the base shell building is expected to be completed by June. Primark is slated to open before Christmas this year.

More details from Barbour ABI
Contractor: McLaren Construction Limited Head Office
Architect group
Architect: ESA
Quantity surveyor: William G Dick Partnership Head Office
Consultant group
M&E engineer: Hulley & Kirkwood
Structural engineer: Richard Watkins
Demolition contractor: London & Surrey Demolition Company
Plumbing and mechanical subcontrator: Swale Building
Interior fit out and wall & ceiling finishing: MPG Group



Crossrail station TCR

Developer: Crossrail
Value: £200m
M2: 25,000
Completion: 2017

Details: A Vinci/Bam Nutall joint venture won the contract to redevelop the existing Tottenham Court Road tube station. Once complete the ticket hall will be six times larger with twice the capacity for commuters. The new station will be constructed with five levels and have entrances at Centre Point, Soho and Oxford Street. The Centre Point entrance incorporates a key design feature of a public piazza. Crossrail is currently inviting bids for this project with the main construction contract due to be awarded before the end of the year. Eventually the Crossrail and tube stations will connect to form one integrated station. Architects Hawkins Brown designed the station.
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Old April 3rd, 2011, 12:41 AM   #2235
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Old April 4th, 2011, 06:00 PM   #2236
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Interesting report. However, as usual the term 'Silicon Valley' is being misused here and giving a false impression. This is not a British or London Silicon Valley, not least because the original was - is - primarily involved in the development of computer components, such as microchips, including manufacturing, as well programming, being the base from which later internet groups sprouted from. This is far more like NYC's own high-tech area insomuch as it is overwhelmingly involves internet firms, new media and some IT companies. There also isn't the involvement of large universities and their research centres. If there is a silicon valley here it is probably the cluster around Cambridge.
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Old April 4th, 2011, 10:54 PM   #2237
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Most certainly, the Cambridge cluster even has its own name, the Silicon Fen. London's high tech is more about services, managing, etc.
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Old April 5th, 2011, 05:03 AM   #2238
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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silicon_Fen
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Old April 5th, 2011, 09:58 AM   #2239
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Green Tower Will Save Energy But Suffer Noise Pollution


Planning permission has been granted by the London Borough of Newham for a futuristic 'eco-tower'. Designed by Studio RHE the 24 storey building named Silvertree will be wrapped with coloured panels on 2 sides, which provide not only solar shading but also the electrical power from embedded photo voltaic panels and solar water heating. On the third side, the building opens to reveal a green vertical forest of planting enclosing terraces and balconies. The building incorporates the latest thinking in environmental design to greatly reduce the building’s carbon footprint.



A distinct façade of curved aluminium bands provide solar and wind protection while also accommodating a vast array of photovoltaic panels producing electricity for the buildings use. Further renewable energy is provided by ground source heat pumps built into the foundations and a central biomass energy centre. High levels of insulation, closable winter gardens and the careful placing of windows and thermal shutters provide improved thermal efficiency.

The scheme will provide 161 large, high quality residential units of various size, with a communal landscaped open deck on the first floor. The lower levels will provide commercial offices, retail and cafés; creating employment opportunities and multiple additions to the current local amenities. The project is described by its architect as an optimistic and aspirational project that aims to become a benchmark for future urban design.

Unfortunately, as has been pointed out by several readers commenting on the article, originally published in World Architecture News, the building will be inside the worst affected area as regards noise from the soon to be expanded London City Airport. As one commentator said "I don't understand why developers are building homes near the London City Airport. This property would be built inside the airport's noise contour. People would not be able to sit on the balcony. Your conversation have to be stopped until passing aircraft have gone. I just hope they fit Sky , so that you can pause live TV. London City Airport, whilst being located in a residential area, is expanding, they recently won planning application to expand from 76,000 to 120,000 flights. This project is dumb as building new homes next to Heathrow".
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Old April 5th, 2011, 09:59 AM   #2240
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Switzerland's 'starchitect' to build in Britain

The enigmatic Swiss architect Peter Zumthor, whose designs sit in unexpected corners of the world – such as remote mountain tops and in fields – is to work in Britain for the first time. He will construct the Serpentine Gallery's temporary pavilion in London this year.

The Pritzker Prize-winner, who has refused to talk about his architectural creations ("Visit them", he simply told an illustrious gathering at the Royal Institute of British Architects 10 years ago) is famously particular about the projects he takes on. As a result, he has limited buildings in urban settings, none of which are in Britain – until now.

This will be the first time that many aficionados will see his work. The pavilion, to be erected in Kensington Gardens, promises to be one of the quirkiest in the gallery's 11-year history of commissioning temporary summer structures.

Zumthor's design will apparently be a composed enclosure focused on a heavily planted garden. Visitors will walk along a dark tunnel, leading out into the light of the garden, which will be created by the influential Dutch designer, Piet Oudolf.

Zumthor says the motivation was to create a place of reflection within an urban context. "The concept for this year's Pavilion is the hortus conclusus : a contemplative room; a garden within a garden. The building acts as a stage; a backdrop for the interior garden of flowers and light," he told The Independent.

"Through blackness and shadow, one enters the building from the lawn and begins the transition into the central garden; a place abstracted from the world of noise and traffic and the smells of London – an interior space within which to sit, to walk, to observe the flowers. This experience will be intense and memorable, as will the materials themselves – full of memory and time."

The timber pavilion, wrapped in a black minimalist surface, will have staggered doorways offering multiple paths to the hidden inner garden.

Zumthor was born in Basel in 1943 and in the 1950s trained as a cabinet-maker with his father, after which he studied in Basel and New York.

The Serpentine project, conceived in 2000 by director Julia Peyton-Jones, has become an architectural experimentation site and follows a decade of structures by top world architects, like Daniel Libeskind, Zaha Hadid and Olafur Eliasson.
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