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Old February 3rd, 2012, 12:33 PM   #3201
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Demolition of Westel House begins ready for construction of 'Apex'. Darling Associates (Architects) report on their web site:

"27.07.11 Planning consent for Apex, Ealing

Planning permission by Ealing Council to demolish the outdated Westel House building in Ealing and replace it with Apex, a brand new hotel and residential development of iconic design by Darling Associates. The striking scheme will feature three buildings - the tallest of which will be up to 21 storeys with a viewing platform where residents can overlook the magnificent views of Ealing and beyond to central London. The development at 58 Uxbridge Road will feature 131 residential units, a nine-storey four-star hotel, a children’s play area, car park facilities and a landscaped boulevard frontage"
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Old February 3rd, 2012, 03:42 PM   #3202
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Do you have any renders of the new project?
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Old February 3rd, 2012, 04:06 PM   #3203
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sure! for the details > http://www.frogmore.co.uk/lib/pdf/Ealing%20Brochure.pdf

Quote:
The Apex, Ealing

Apex Tower - a 21 storey residential tower comprising 96 apartments Garden Court - an 8 storey residential tower comprising 33 units.
The development, which will complete in Autumn 2014, fronts Uxbridge Road, close to Ealing town centre and less than 10 minutes' walk from the rail, underground and proposed Crossrail station at Ealing Broadway.





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Old February 3rd, 2012, 04:37 PM   #3204
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A major improvement, that's for sure!
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Old February 3rd, 2012, 05:10 PM   #3205
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So excited for London's prospects. I would prefer a bit more investment in other cities / towns (too many eggs in one basket...), but still: better than no investment at all!

And some amazing architecture too. Can't recall a project recently that I've thought "Oh no, please don't build that" about, which is unexpected.
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Old February 3rd, 2012, 08:03 PM   #3206
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Originally Posted by MasterOfHisOwnDomain View Post
So excited for London's prospects. I would prefer a bit more investment in other cities / towns (too many eggs in one basket...), but still: better than no investment at all!
i get your points but one problem here is that london is a magnet for the foreign investors and many of these u/c projects and skyscrapers are funded by private investors, foreign companies and billionaires from oil rich countries. london is indeed a very attractive place to set up new businesses. nowadays a lot of rich people from china are buying over priced apartments in many areas in london and foreign investors and bankers consider london as a bridge between north america and europe. on the other hand the local government is also spending billions of £ in different cities across the uk in order to create more jobs for the local people.

Last edited by SO143; February 3rd, 2012 at 09:00 PM.
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Old February 3rd, 2012, 09:02 PM   #3207
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omg big news

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£750m former Middlesex Hospital site plan approved

Fri 3rd February


Developer Exemplar Properties last night gained conditional planning for its major building scheme in Fitzrovia, London.

Balfour Beatty, Mace and Sir Robert McAlpine are among the firm shortlisted for the building contract, estimated to be worth as much as £160m. A winner is expected to be named next month.

Enabling works have just been awarded to McGee and will run until April.

The 3-acre site was once to be developed as NoHo Square, because of its location to the north of Soho, by the Candy Brothers but stalled.

Under the new plan, the big West End brownfield site will be transformed into an mixed-use community, centered on a landscaped public square containing the listed hospital chapel.

[.....]
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Old February 4th, 2012, 02:22 PM   #3208
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Affordable housing concerns for London despite Olympics development boost

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The Olympic Games are acting as a catalyst for new housebuilding activity across Greater London but there is concern about the number of affordable homes being built, according to a new report from Drivers Jonas Deloitte. The consultancy's latest London Residential Crane Survey (Winter 2011) says that despite continued economic uncertainty, housing development activity across Greater London has continued to increase, particularly in East London.

The report highlights that there has been a 40 percent increase in construction activity since this time last year. However, there is evidence that momentum has already begun to slow. Economic uncertainty and regulatory changes mean that there has been a fall in the number of new schemes starting since the last survey. The report concludes that the recorded level of construction activity is unlikely to be sustained during 2012.

[.....]
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Old February 5th, 2012, 05:01 PM   #3209
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Demolition of the buildings that will be replaced by the new 700,000 sq ft UBS HQ.

by hella good.





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Old February 6th, 2012, 10:05 PM   #3210
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Major Paddington road to shut for two years for Crossrail work
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Old February 7th, 2012, 01:16 PM   #3211
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456 Apartment Wandsworth Scheme Approved
06-02-2012

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A major new residential-led development has been approved by the planning committee of the London borough of Wandsworth.



The scheme features the redevelopment of Marco Polo House in London SW8, a site that sits off Queenstown Road and is bounded by Battersea Park to the west and the Senses South development to the immediate north.

Within it will have 456 new apartments, of which 68 will be made available through a recently instituted British government scheme to make housing more affordable for first time buyers. In addition there will be about 1,200 square metres of space given over to various commercial uses including retail outlets, restaurants and bars, and space aimed at small office occupiers.

A new public courtyard will be created on the southern part of the site and opened up to Battersea Park allowing public space to spill over Queenstown Road. There will also be a public garden between the buildings and a pedestrian route between the two buildings to improve the permeability of the site.

Taking into account the location of the project to the park, the buildings will have stepped western sides that allow the creation of numerous terraces overlooking it that will be framed in natural stone. Furthermore the buildings are massed in such a way as to maximise the views towards the west, even in the middle of the site. This means about 85 residents will have views in that direction.

On the back of the site to its east is one of the main railways that passes north to Victoria Station. Taking into account the noise, amenity for the residents here will be enclosed in the form of winter gardens for each apartment clad with zinc.

The Marco Polo House scheme is being developed by the Marcus Cooper Group who have been building a property portfolio in Mayfair and Belgravia, but never worked on a new build development of quite this scale before from start to finish.
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Old February 7th, 2012, 02:33 PM   #3212
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BMW GROUP REVEALS WINNING DESIGN FOR OLYMPIC PAVILION
February 7, 2012

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Official Automotive Partner selects young British firm Serie following sustainable design competition





BMW Group, Official Automotive Partner to the London 2012 Olympic & Paralympic Games, today revealed the winning design for its pavilion at the Olympic Park.Following a competition involving six architecture firms, BMW selected the British firm Serie based on its cutting-edge design that will represent a significant architectural addition to the Olympic Park, whilst also reflecting the company’s deep commitment to sustainability.Tim Abbott, Managing Director, BMW Group UK comments: “As a major investor, manufacturer and employer in the UK, BMW Group is deeply proud to be an official partner for Britain’s first Olympic & Paralympic Games since 1948.”

“This commitment to the UK is also reflected in our choice of a home-grown architecture practice to design our pavilion and we’re delighted that Serie’s final design reflects our commitment to sustainable thinking in such an innovative and eye-catching manner. We believe it provides a truly worthy addition to the Olympic Park”.BMW’s pavilion, which has a floor space of 800m2, will be built on an elevated site above the Waterworks River, situated between the Olympic Stadium and the Aquatics Centre. Serie’s innovative design will use river water to provide a sustainable source of cooling for the building before returning this filtered water to the river via an eye-catching ‘water curtain’ feature.

Every element of the BMW pavilion has been designed to reflect the company’s heritage in environmental innovation. The two-storey superstructure will be built of steel with high recycled content. Use of carbon-intensive materials such as concrete has also been minimised. Serie co-founder and principal architect Christopher Lee comments: “The design takes the idea of the pavilion in the park – the Victorian bandstand – but instead of one pavilion we envision nine pavilions clustered together to form a family.”The top floor will house a number of individual standalone pavilions, which will be used to highlight BMW’s latest vehicle innovations.

The lower floor will house a range of interactive visitor exhibits, articulating BMW’s vision for sustainable mobility and support for Team GB and ParalympicsGB athletes including Rebecca Adlington, Tom Daley, Louis Smith and David Weir through the BMW London 2012 Performance Team programme. Over 8,000 visitors are expected to visit the BMW pavilion each day during the Olympic & Paralympic Games.

[....]
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Old February 7th, 2012, 05:24 PM   #3213
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How significant is Silicon Roundabout?

How significant is Silicon Roundabout? Just ask Charles Armstrong, who has been busy mapping out east London's tech cluster on a series of interactive online maps. So far, Armstrong's team has visualised the links between 298 companies in what he calls London's "technology ecosystem" -- but, as CEO Trampoline Systems, right at the heart of the neighbourhood, he knows that's just the start. There are, he suggests, up to 5,000 technology-focused companies located in east London --with perhaps 10,000 people constituting Europe's biggest challenge to Silicon Valley.

The huge and fast-growing scale of London's tech startup boom has been a surprise even to our team at Wired -- and we write about these businesses every month. When we launched in spring 2009, we knew of a famous Google map created by software designer Matt Biddulph, which gathered together 15 firms in a neighbourhood Biddulph wrily named "Silicon Roundabout" -- defined as "the ever-growing community of fun startups in London's Old Street area" (home of London's ugliest traffic roundabout). We embarked on a research project of our own, and came up with a further 40 or so tech-related firms in the area. Then almost every day we heard from other businesses that had eluded our attention. Evidently something big and unreported was happening to the British entrepreneurial spirit.

Some of these startups, it turned out, were attracting real money. One of Biddulph's original list, Last.fm, was bought by CBS for $280 million; his own company, Dopplr, was acquired by Nokia for what was reported at more than $20 million (£12.65 million); and earlier this year, near-neighbour TweetDeck was sold to Twitter for around $40 million (£25.3 million). How had such a thriving cluster emerged with no coordinated planning, no local Stanford University, no well-established giant Googles and HPs to train a generation of talent?

It turns out that entrepreneurial booms do not need anyone orchestrating them. What has happened in London -- indeed, in dozens of other European cities, from Berlin to Barcelona -- is that a bunch of nimble startups have taken advantage of relatively cheap rents, a critical mass of available programming talent, and just enough outside investment to create a mutually reinforcing spirit of risk-taking. The buzzword is "ecosystem": once an area is known for a few hot startups, it attracts more company founders, plus the financiers, lawyers and marketers who sense an opportunity. And it helps that there are places they can meet each other to power-network, or simply to drink tea -- in London's case, local hangouts such as The Shepherdess Café and The Reliance, as well as online member-only communities such as the ICE list, on which founders swap war stories and job openings for mutual benefit.

Still -- Shoreditch is no Palo Alto. For all David Cameron's declared intention to boost London's role as a world-class "Tech City", we don't yet have the scale of available investment of Valley firms such as Kleiner Perkins, nor the entrepreneurial confidence that created multi-billion businesses such as Yahoo and Zynga. There are, for sure, a bunch of London tech firms that may one day be sold or go public at a billion-pound valuation -- fast-growth businesses such as Wonga, Mind Candy and Badoo. And we certainly attract the international talent that favours London as a startup base -- which is why Skype and Spotify are based here rather than in Scandinavia. But the Valley is still way ahead in terms of value creation. What's it got apart from sunshine that east London lacks?

For one, it's still not very British to declare a brash intention to dominate the world with our entrepreneurial drive. The very name "Silicon Roundabout " is self-mocking. "A roundabout doesn't exactly evoke global clout," says Jawbone creator Alexander Asseily, who last year returned to London after running his successful startup in the Valley. "Let's pick a name that is bold, induces awe and encapsulates the professional and geographical breadth of London entrepreneurs. The city has a distinct gravitational field, global reach and cultural depth that most places do not."

We need a greater appetite for risk, and more visibility for home-grown role models: the more the media celebrate the heroes of the digital economy, the more likely the next generation of talent will decide against joining Goldman Sachs in favour of a software venture that might just go global. Think of all the tech CEOs with a significant media profile here, and they're probably not Brits (Zuckerberg, Bezos, Page and Brin). Yet we do have plenty of our own Hobermans, Zennstroms and Segerstrales, even if they're not invited on to the talk shows.

Watch this space, though. Things are gradually changing. Google recently announced that it was renting a seven-storey building near Old Street as "a launchpad for new London-based startups and developers". The government has pledged £400 million in funding to the local tech economy, although entrepreneurs say it could be doing much more to help with tax breaks and visas for foreign talent. And plenty of first-generation dot-com entrepreneurs are now actively mentoring the new generation through effective projects such as Seedcamp.

California, here we come.
http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/...con-roundabout
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Old February 7th, 2012, 07:43 PM   #3214
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Kidbrooke Regeneration

by SE9.













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Old February 7th, 2012, 11:14 PM   #3215
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interesting article

Quote:
Tower trouble

The idea that record-busting skyscrapers are a harbinger of financial doom got a fresh airing last week, when Barclays Capital published an update of its skyscraper index.




For those not in the know, the theory goes that the construction of the world’s tallest buildings has tended to coincide with financial crises. The implication is that they can make canny contrarian sell signals.

This theory has the great virtue of transparency and simplicity – you don’t need any fancy analytical tools to spot the world’s tallest building going up. The reasoning behind it is also very intuitive: the cost of breaking records is a sure indicator of financial excess, which tends to be followed by a correction.

But perhaps the main reason the skyscraper index is so attractive is its track record. The record holders for most of the past hundred years have all been conceived in infamous periods of financial speculation.

The Empire State Building was completed in 1931, shortly after the Wall Street crash, and held the record until the completion of the first tower of the World Trade Centre in 1972, at the very end of the long post-war boom.

The Sears Tower in Chicago was also built in the early 1970s and held the world record until the Petronas Towers were built in Kuala Lumpur in 1998, just after the Asian financial crisis. The next tower to take the crown was Taipei 101 in tech-centric Taiwan in 2004, which was seeded in the dotcom bubble. Finally, the 830m-high Burj Khalifa in Dubai was opened in early 2010, a matter of months after the emirate’s investment vehicle Dubai World shocked the world by calling a moratorium on its debts.

So does the indicator actually work? It can’t have escaped readers that the above list raises more questions than it answers.

For a start, when precisely should you sell? Although most record-breaking towers can be traced back to a period of speculative fever, the completion tends to lag the crash – which makes it a useless sell signal. The construction date isn’t much better, as big skyscrapers towers usually take about 5 years to build – in which case you’ll probably be selling very early.

Then there’s the problem that the indicator looks unlikely to throw up another sell signal for decades. The Burj Khalifa was 63 per cent taller than Taipei 101 – a jump far higher than anything in history. None of the skyscrapers currently under construction in China come anywhere close to topping it - though there is a mad plan underway in Saudi Arabia to outdo its neighbour.

So perhaps we should water down our criteria and look at skyscraper construction in general. This doesn’t have the blissful transparency of looking at record-busters alone, but it follows the same logic – major skyscrapers are an end-of-cycle phenomenon. This is the approach Barclays takes, identifying two areas of the world in which a thicket of skyscrapers are under construction – China and India.

[.....]
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Old February 8th, 2012, 06:15 PM   #3216
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BMW have unveiled the design of their floating showroom in the London Olympics Park.

Quote:
[IMG]http://i41.************/w2njwn.jpg[/IMG]


Illustration by MIR

The elevated site will sit between the Aquatics Centre and the Olympic Park showcasing the automobile giant’s work.

It will use water from the river to create an eye-catching ‘water curtain’ feature, which cools the structure in an innovative and sustainable way.

Christopher Lee, Serie co-founder and principal architect, added: “The design takes the idea of the pavilion in the park – the Victorian bandstand – but instead of one pavilion we envision nine pavilions clustered together to form a family.”

Tim Abbott, managing director of BMW Group UK, added: “As a major investor, manufacturer and employer in the UK, BMW Group is deeply proud to be an official partner for Britain’s first Olympic & Paralympic Games since 1948.

“This commitment to the UK is also reflected in our choice of a home-grown architecture practice to design our pavilion and we’re delighted that Serie’s final design reflects our commitment to sustainable thinking in such an innovative and eye-catching manner.

“We believe it provides a truly worthy addition to the Olympic Park”.

Around 8,000 people a day are expected to visit during this summer’s Games.

As the official car supplier to London 2012, BMW will also provide a fleet of around 4,000 vehicles to help transport athletes and officials during the Games.

[.....]
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Old February 8th, 2012, 09:13 PM   #3217
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Ai Weiwei and Beijing’s Bird’s Nest architects reunite to design London’s 2012 Serpentine Pavilion
08/02/2012

Quote:
Chinese artist and dissident Ai Weiwei is collaborating again with architects Herzog & de Meuron to design the 2012 Serpentine pavilion. The last worked together on the Beijing Bird’s Nest project.

Ai Weiwei will collaborate with Swiss architects Herzog & de Meuron to create the Serpentine Gallery’s summer Pavilion for Kensington Gardens, London. The project reunites the artist and architects who combined four years ago to create the spectacular Bird’s Nest Stadium in Beijing. The Pavilion will go up in June as part of the London 2012 festival, a jamboree of events across the UK, which will mark the culmination of the Cultural Olympiad.

The Serpentine Gallery’s announcement on Tuesday marked the Gallery’s 12th commission in what has become a major annual event on the architecture calendar. Built each year as a temporary adjunct to the small Serpentine Gallery (a former tea house) the Pavilions are subsequently sold off to the highest bidder, largely funding their construction. Previous Pavilion designers have included architects Zaha Hadid and Oscar Niemeyer.

[....]
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Old February 8th, 2012, 09:22 PM   #3218
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Bloomberg, Wall St
Quote:
Aon Shifts Headquarters to London



Aon Corp., the world’s largest insurance broker, will move its corporate headquarters to London from Chicago to give the firm better access to emerging economies and the Lloyd’s of London insurance market.

Aon Corp. said it will move its corporate headquarters to London from Chicago, a step the insurance brokerage and consulting firm said will provide greater access to emerging markets and closer proximity to the Lloyd's of London insurance market.

"The continued investment in our international operations and emerging markets is important to the growth of our firm," Aon Chief Executive Greg Case said in a statement.

Aon said the move will free up excess capital that Stifel analyst Meyer Shields predicted would be used to buy stock or increase the company's dividend. Mr. Shields also said Aon's tax rate should decline, boosting earnings.

"Each 100 bps reduction in Aon's effective tax rate should translate to about (6 cents in per-share earnings) impact," Mr. Shields wrote in a note to clients.

An Aon spokesman declined to comment on the potential tax benefits of the move.

Aon said the move won't cause job loss in either Chicago, which will continue as the company's headquarters for the Americas, or in the U.S. Aon said it will move 750 jobs into the company's downtown Chicago office and plans to add more than 1,000 jobs across its U.S. operations this year. Aon said it sees the transaction closing in the second quarter.

[....]
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Old February 8th, 2012, 11:44 PM   #3219
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I really like Chicago (or at least I think I do), so I'm not that happy about it :\ Great for London though, a city I know I love. One thing's for sure though, their new HQ won't be as good as their old HQ.
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Old February 8th, 2012, 11:50 PM   #3220
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I disagree, architecturally I think 122 Leadenhall is going to be one of London's best buildings.



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