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Shell Centre developers looking for architects

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The backers behind London’s Shell Centre redevelopment are looking for architects to design the scheme’s commercial and residential elements

Developers Canary Wharf Group and Qatari Diar – who paid £300 million for the building in July 2011 – said they were seeking ‘architectural excellence’ for the 2.15-hectare job.

Braeburn Estates – the developers’ joint venture delivery vehicle – is already working with Squire and Partners on the project’s masterplan, which will feature offices, shops and homes (AJ 28.07.11). It is understood Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners, which also assisted with the developers’ bid for the site, has now been dropped.

A 27-storey skyscraper, part of architect Howard Robertson’s original 1961 Shell Centre complex, will remain as headquarters for the Dutch energy company, but all the other buildings are set to go.

A Braeburn Estates spokesperson confirmed additional architects would be appointed to design individual buildings in the scheme.

‘We are seeking the highest levels of architectural excellence to re-energise this special part of London’s South Bank, and we welcome Squire and Partners to the team to help us achieve this.’

Last week, community consultation started on the practice’s outline plans for the plot south of the Thames, near Waterloo Station.

Community consultation on Squire and Parnters' outline plans for the plot south of the Thames, near Waterloo Station

Squire and Partners’ senior partner Michael Squire said: ‘Our vision is to create a permeable development which connects the station to the river, and includes a broad mix of uses with accessible activities animating the new public realm at ground floor level.’

In recent weeks the project, along with David Chipperfield’s Elizabeth House development nearby (AJ 16.12.11), has been linked to questions by UNESCO about protected views from the Palace of Westminster (see Paul Finch’s letter from London).

A consultation on amendments to the London View Management Framework concerning Parliament Square and the Palace of Westminster closes on Friday 10 February

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