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Best of British: final trio vie for Three Sisters replacement

David Chipperfield, Hopkins Architects and Grimshaw are battling it out to design the replacement for Allies and Morrison’s shelved £1 billion Three Sisters tower scheme on London’s South Bank

The trio were picked from an initial seven-strong, unveiled exclusively in the AJ last month, which also included Allford Hall Monaghan Morris, Eric Parry Architects, Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios and Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands.

The final three have been chosen by developer and contest organiser Chelsfield – working with London & Regional Properties – to masterplan an area in Waterloo that features the Elizabeth House office block and anumber of buildings along York Road.

Allies and Morrison’s earlier high-rise proposal was thrown out by then Secretary of State John Denham following a high-profile public inquiry, claiming it ‘fell short of the excellence expected’ and lacked ‘the balanced, sculptural [and] elegant qualities crucial to the success of tall buildings’.

A winner will be announced next month (September 2010).

Previous story (AJ 02.07.10)

All-British line-up for new Waterloo scheme

An impressive, all-British shortlist has been drawn up to design the replacement for Allies and Morrison’s doomed £1 billion Three Sisters tower scheme on London’s South Bank

David Chipperfield is named alongside fellow finalists Allford Hall Monaghan Morris, Eric Parry Architects, Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios, Grimshaw, Hopkins Architects and Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands.

Developer and contest organiser Chelsfield – with London & Regional Properties – has asked the seven practices to masterplan an area in Waterloo that includes the Elizabeth House office slab and buildings along York Road.

Following a high-profile public inquiry, Secretary of State John Denham threw out Allies and Morrison’s earlier proposal, claiming it ‘fell short of the excellence expected’ and lacked ‘the balanced, sculptural [and] elegant qualities crucial to the success of tall buildings’.

The scheme for then landowners P&O and Morgan Stanley Real Estate, which featured three towers of 22, 27 and 39 storeys, came in for particular criticism from English Heritage, which was concerned about the possible impact on the Westminster World Heritage Site.

A previous 32-storey tower scheme by RHWL Architects was also abandoned.

Speaking about the finalists, Allies and Morrison co-founder Graham Morrison said: ‘Armed with the knowledge of what has gone before, all of the invited practices are capable of producing just the right answer for this particular site. There is a huge amount of goodwill from all sides to see something good happen at Elizabeth House.’

The winner will be announced in ‘a couple of months’.

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