In a new bid to kickstart regeneration of the Tower of London World Heritage Site, Manser Associates has been appointed to design a new pier with the capacity to receive cruise liners. The architect, working with engineer Mouchel and Partners, was appointed last week.
bdp completed a masterplan for the whole scheme last year, of which the pier will be the first element to be realised. It will form a first-stage catalyst project, developed by three consultants appointed by the Historic Royal Palaces Agency, which can be submitted as an achievable bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund. ‘The hlf supports the masterplan,’ said Stephen Bond, director of the Tower Environment Scheme, ‘but funding is tight. We want to consider an application for the area immediately to the west of the wharf. The existing pier doesn’t exactly grace its surroundings.’
The three consultants are architect Sir William Whitfield, engineer Alan Baxter and design advisor Rory Coonan. Coonan said: ‘The bdp masterplan is a superb piece of work. We are clarifying the masterplan in terms of what is possible in relation to the tower’s principal business.’
The tower, a World Heritage Site, suffers from poor links to the rest of the city, inadequate catering in the area, and the drainage and infilling of the moat which has decreased the apparent height of the walls. Only nine per cent of visitors come from the uk.
The project, part of the Tower Environment Scheme, is largely funded from the £14 million Single Regeneration Budget funding given to the Pool of London Partnership. Bond said that ‘a substantial proportion’ of this srb funding will go to the tower.
Coonan said: ‘The tower is one of the most intellectually challenging projects I have been asked to look at.’ Elements in the bdp masterplan such as major traffic engineering to reduce the isolation of the tower, will not form part of the initial bid.