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David Kohn’s temporary Skyroom to stay another year

David Kohn Architects’ Skyroom, a temporary venue on the roof of the Architecture Foundation’s (AF) building on Tooley Street, south-east London, has been given planning permission to stay for another 12 months

Project backer, developers Lake Estates, secured consent from Southwark Council’s planners for the £150,000 structure to remain on top of the AF headquarters until April 2012.

It is understood Lake Estates will make a further application to extend its life throughout London’s Olympic celebrations and could re-attempt to win a permanent permission.

David Kohn said: ‘The recent planning permission for the Skyroom validates thinking creatively about how to realise unconventional projects.

‘The approach to gain longer term permission incrementally was key to the design strategy. There are similarities with approaches in other countries, for example Switzerland, where a temporary scaffolded version of a building is required prior to permission being granted.’ 

AF director Sarah Ichioka added: ‘We are delighted that the Skyroom permission has been extended for another year, and are looking forward to a sunny summer of rooftop events.’

Postscript

Roger Zogolovitch of Lake Estates

The structure has been designed by David Kohn to be fit for purpose as a semi covered structure for assembly - it is a permanent, long term solution.It marks itself out with a wonderful architectural moment of a discreet cantilevered viewing platform high over Tooley Street. It is a ‘flourish’ that allows this modest installation to announce itself to the street below.

Southwark Council is not prepared to grant the structure permanent permission as this ‘flourish’ is considered ‘harmful’ to the conservation area. We are saddened that our UK planning system has now finally descended to the lowest common denominator of an understanding of the context of conservation areas and finds itself incapable of supporting the architectural aspiration of this rooftop installation solely on the grounds that it threatens their ‘planning guidance for roof top extensions’.
As client and promoters of the Skyroom we will continue to demonstrate the importance of excellent architecture placed in proximity to existing or listed buildings to the enrichment of our experience of our city, and for the benefit of the enhancement of architecture.In short we will continue to fight for the Skyroom to continue and to be followed by more creative led interventions of excellence.
This is the role of a client whose manifesto statement is ‘development as art’

Previous story (AJ 23.09.10)

David Kohn’s Skyroom revives London’s forgotten rooftops

[FIRST LOOK + PLANS] This is David Kohn Architects’ Skyroom, a temporary venue on the roof of the Architecture Foundation’s building on Tooley Street, south-east London

Launched for this week’s London Design Festival, the £150,000 structure is made from steel with copper mesh facades, larch flooring and an ETFE roof.

Roger Zogolovitch, chair of developer Lake Estates, which commissioned the project, said: ‘London suffers from a lot of redundant roof space that isn’t really used for anything… I think it could survive for 10 or 20 years.’

David Kohn Architects’ Skyroom on the roof of the Architecture Foundation’s building on Tooley Street, south-east London

Source: Will Pryce

David Kohn Architects’ Skyroom on the roof of the Architecture Foundation’s building on Tooley Street, south-east London

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