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Alsop considers giant faces to adorn Blackfriars project

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Alsop & Stormer has won planning permission for Southpoint, a major new office building on the south side of Blackfriars bridge in London, but Will Alsop looks set to replace its distinctive cruciform graphics with giant images of faces from history.

The £100 million development, to replace the 1960s office building Orbit House, might now be adorned with the images of people such as the composer George Frederick Handel and boxing hero Jack Dempsey, who have historical connections with the site.

Alsop has been inspired by the work of an artist, Thomas Kilper, who produced a series of wood carvings of key figures in the site's history. These are on display in Orbit House and include images of Alsop himself and Adolf Hitler, who sent the Luftwaffe to bomb the area during the Second World War.

Alsop ruled out these last two characters as unsuitable for his new plan, however, saying 'there's only room for one or two images'. Despite the rethink on the crosses, the cloud motif at the top of the building will stay.

The design, which has won the backing of the London Borough of Southwark, has been scaled down slightly with the removal of a box which jutted out from the top of the building (aj 16.9.99).

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