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Stellar shortlist revealed for fresh attempt at Waterloo tower

Four of Britain's top practices are vying to design a new skyscraper for London's Waterloo, it has emerged.

Make, KPF, Allies and Morrison and Foreign Office Architects are all lining up to develop concept designs for a 130 000m 2office tower in SE1 by the end of the year, replacing proposals by RHWL that were revealed last year (pictured).

The building, known as Elizabeth House, would be bounded by York Road and Waterloo Station and replace an existing John Poulson building. The site is next to the listed Victory Arch.

RHWL, whose 32-storey plans for the site were withdrawn early in 2004 after Transport for London opposed plans to move a road to create new public square, will oversee the scheme as executive architect. The split of work between RHWL and the winning practice is still to be finalised.

An existing planning application already exists for a 90,000m 2development on the site. 'That's bankable,' said David Hudson of developer P&O Estates.

The developer claims that the new building would not interfere with strategic views identified by the Greater London Authority. It also claims that the London Plan's 'Waterloo Opportunity Area' identifies the site of the proposed development as an area that should provide 15,000 jobs.

A decision on the winning architect is due to be made in December, with a planning application to be made early in 2006.

P&O Estates plans to work with engineers Jacobs and Expedition to negotiate the site's difficulties, such as the complex network of tubes lines running beneath it.

The planning consultant is Halpern Partnership.

by Rob Sharp

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