Wandsworth Council has approved a 15-storey residential tower designed by Will Alsop’s ALL Design practice next to London Heliport, in Battersea.
The Heliport Heights development will be built on stilts straddling an existing five-storey office and residential building called Heliport House, meaning the top level of the new building will effectively be 20 storeys tall.
Clad in cor-ten steel panels, the building will feature 14 apartments, a roof garden and a projecting winter garden at the Lombard Road site.
As part of the development, Heliport House will be re-clad and extended at the third-floor level to include a bubble-shaped conference room ‘pod’ clad in stainless steel.
Recommending the scheme for approval, planning officers said the development was ‘a unique and bespoke design’ that used high quality materials.
‘The curved nature of the building along with the curved windows and winter gardens create an element of interest on the slim profile of the building,’ they said.
‘The use of colour for the balconies contrasts with the cor-ten steel of the main body of the building and the overall design is not considered to pose any policy issues.’
Members of Wandsworth’s Planning Applications Committee approved the proposals by four votes to three.
The plans will now be referred to London Mayor Boris Johnson.
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Alsop reveals Battersea heliport tower
The 15-storey scheme will be clad in cor-ten steel and be built on stilts to straddle an existing building on the plot. The tower features 13 flats – one on each floor – with a duplex penthouse at the top.
Dubbed Heliport Heights, the development is described as a ‘signature’ building which will ‘kick off the future regeneration of the low rise industrial Heliport Estate’ and the surrounding area.
The architect’s view
‘We propose a visually striking building that will fill an unsightly gap on London’s south bank skyline and provide wonderful views of the river. In a first for London, a small tower will be built, using stilts, directly on top of a much lower existing building. This allows the existing tenants of the lower building to remain in situ. There will be a clear visual separation between the two buildings. The existing building will be refurbished, re-clad and brought up to date to provide two floors of offices, a penthouse and parking. It will provide an excellent example of sustainable regeneration.
In a first for London, a small tower will be built, using stilts
‘Heliport Heights will rise above the existing four-storey building, featuring multi-coloured balconies and porthole-like windows. We propose using vibrant cor-ten steel cladding, as used for [Feilden Clegg Bradley Studio’s] international award-winning Broadcasting Place in Leeds. It will be an extraordinary and iconic addition to an area that has little visual amenity apart from the river.
‘The Heliport Heights planning proposal is for 13 apartments, one on each floor, and a duplex penthouse at the top. Each apartment features extensive interior space with high ceilings, three roomy bedrooms and expansive balconies. At ground floor level, beneath a canopy created by the overhang of Heliport Heights, there will be a small gallery with a large window to display art, and a projection wall for art or films. On the second floor a polished stainless steel suspended pod reflects the ground beneath it creating momentary art, and provides a conference space that will be let out to the public.
‘It is intended that Heliport Heights will become a new landmark, helping to create a more liveable and attractive neighbourhood by encouraging more walking and cycling as the benefits such as the art gallery, growing architectural interest and public space help the building to become a destination in its own right.
‘Fifteen parking spaces will comprise retained garages at ground level in an area with otherwise very low parking provision. There will be a car club available for the use of residents.
‘Heliport Heights project marks the beginning of a positive redevelopment programme for the area.
‘Due to the small size of the Heliport Heights site, this development will provide a substantial financial contribution to Wandsworth Council for use away from the site in the development of social housing or infrastructure development.’