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London Bridge development moves on

Renzo Piano has unveiled his 'Son of Shard' - a redevelopment of 1.2ha next to the site of his controversial proposed 72-storey skyscraper in London Bridge.

The latest scheme, known officially as New London Bridge House, represents the next phase in the redevelopment of the area.

This involves demolishing an existing 1970s Seifert office tower and replacing it with a 60,000m 2office and retail scheme.

According to the building's developer - a consortium which includes Shard developer Sellar Property Group - Piano's new design succeeds in 'producing a building that maximises an underdeveloped site, yet is both visually exciting and sympathetic to its direct environment'.

Piano said: 'My vision is that New London Bridge House becomes a building with its own character; strong, compelling and visible, yet not competing with the Shard.

'New London Bridge House is sculpted naturally by the curve of the railway lines, rising higher to the east and lower towards Southwark Cathedral.'

The other faces of the building are facetted like a 'gem' and reduced in scale on London Bridge Street and when viewed from the south.'

Piano believes that the building should 'float like a rock of Magritte above the ground' and, as a result, will liberate space at the ground level and create a 'vibrant' public environment.

The scheme will incorporate a large 4,000m 2inclined roof containing photovoltaic panels and a new entrance to the underground station, as well as 2,000m 2of new retail space.

A planning application for the building is expected to be submitted to the London Borough of Southwark early in 2006.

by Rob Sharp

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