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CZWG's Croydon skyscraper set for approval despite CABE concerns

CZWG’s long-awaited 55-storey tower in Croydon looks set to be given the green light despite calls from DC CABE the scheme should be simplified

The £350 million mixed-use project, which was inspired by the paintings of Matisse and includes a 217-bedroom hotel, is expected to be approved by Croydon Council’s planning committee next week (12 January).

However the design watchdog’s review panel, while supporting the ‘principal of a tall building in this location’ in Lansdowne Road, said it had concerns about the scheme’s elevational treatment and described the cantilevered restaurant which will ‘jut out over the Wellesley Road’ as overly complex.

The report reads: ‘We feel that some simplification would be beneficial for the proposals as a whole. The technical resolution of the detail of the elevations will be challenging and the cost implications of the complex facade treatment should be realistically assessed.

‘We also find the curve, while elegant in plan, generates awkward junctions when translated into a three-dimensional composition…… and may not be legible when viewed from street level.’

DC CABE also warned that the success of the scheme depended on the ‘quality of its detailed design and longevity of appropriate materials’.

In response, David Hudson of project backer Guildhouse said: ‘There are one or two relatively minor points but it is a very positive report. DC CABE has suggested simplifying the cantilevered element and we may look at that post-planning - assuming we get consent.

‘Some of the report is a matter of opinion and I’m not going to dictate to Piers Gough to simplify the design if it is not appropriate.’

He added: ‘[With regard to potential for value-engineering] it would be an enormous mistake to spoil the ship for a ha’p’orth of tar. This is a commerical product and and if we want to achieve premium prices it has to be a quailty product.’

The current proposal, whioch includes 16,756 m² of office space, is an updated version of an earlier scheme – dubbed the Odelisk – which featured a separate tower with serviced apartments.

Previous story (AJ 1.11.11)

CZWG finally submits Croydon skyscraper plans

[First look] CZWG has submitted a planning application for this long-awaited 55-storey tower in Croydon inspired by the paintings of Matisse

The £350 million mixed-use project is an updated version of an earlier scheme – dubbed the Odelisk – which featured a separate tower with serviced apartments.

The new scheme includes a 217-bedroom hotel and a cantilevered conference, restaurant and bar structure.

The project for Guildhouse and Rosepride Properties also features 16,756 m² of office space. A series of balconies and winter gardens have been sculpted to give the facade curving patter inspired by Matisse’s art.

CZWG Architects partner Piers Gough said: ‘My ambition is to create a new image for Croydon, to enhance the economic attractiveness of the area and provide a place where people will be drawn to work, live and visit.’

When Gough first revealed his proposals in late 2008 (AJ 02.10.2008), the architect said the scheme heralded the end of ‘the days of drab grey buildings’.

Guildhouse chief executive David Hudson said: ‘The proposals for One Lansdowne Road will complement the existing regeneration strategy for the Croydon town centre, working with the other schemes that are already under way, to transform the town.

‘As one of the largest London boroughs, Croydon is an area with a huge amount of potential. It benefits from exceptional transport links that make it an ideal location for regeneration and development,’ he added.

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