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Official launch for Renzo Piano's first completed UK project

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The 50,000m² Central Saint Giles development, clad with more than 130,000 coloured terracotta tiles, is Renzo Piano’s first completed building in the UK

The Italian architect says ‘the levitated, articulated and colourful buildings’ bring ‘heart and soul into a forgotten part of London’s urban fabric’.

Officially launched yesterday, the 21-sided development, on a 0.6ha site close to Richard Seifert’s Centre Point tower, replaces a 1960s Ministry of Defence building.

Backed by Legal & General Property and the Mitsubishi Estate Company, the project houses 37,625m² of office space, 56 private apartments and 53 affordable homes in five interconnected structures, the tallest of which is 15 storeys. Nine new restaurants and bars open on to a central public piazza.

Simon Wilkes, development director at Legal & General Property, says the scheme’s bold exterior has split opinion. ‘Most who have been negative haven’t actually seen it and are judging it by the colour only.’

Central Saint Giles, in central London, by Renzo Piano Building Workshop

Central Saint Giles, in central London, by Renzo Piano Building Workshop

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