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Foster and Farrell buildings in Tower of London delay

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Plans for major buildings by Foster and Partners and Terry Farrell and Partners worth over £150 million around the Tower of London have been put on hold, as new £15 million plans for the tower approach were approved this week.

Foster and Partners' plan for a £120 million building for insurance broker j&h Marsh McLennan, which would have involved demolishing an existing office building, was frozen after a property audit indicated the firm did not need extra office space. The knock-on effect has postponed Terry Farrell & Partners' 234-bed £32 million hotel for client Scottish Widows.

Bob Hill, Historic Royal Palaces Tower Environs project director, said: 'We have two great buildings which are on hold. Foster's because the firm has enough space, and Farrell's because it can't go ahead without it.'

However, work is going ahead on another scheme for Tower Environs, masterplanned by bdp with a £4.5 million four-boat pier by Manser Associates in front of the Tower. The £15 million scheme will include an interpretation centre in the Grade II-listed Tower Hill Vaults, to be decided by architectural competition, and a traffic-streamlining project by Sir William Whitfield, engineer Alan Baxter and consultant Rory Coonan.

David Chipperfield Architects has won an international invited competition to design a company headquarters for large clothing retailer Ernsting's Family in Coesfeld-Lette, Westphalia, Germany. The 6000m2 hq, conceived as pavilions in a park-like setting, comprises a communal entrance building, a building for the holding company including teaching and catering facilities, and a third building for retail and accounts departments. All are arranged around planted courtyards and will be clad in Corten. The complex starts on site at the beginning of next year.

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