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CABE backs Gehry's 'tin can towers'

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CABE has given a cautious backing to Frank Gehry's revised King Alfred tower scheme in Hove, but believes certain areas of the design 'still have some way to go to reach a convincing solution'.

The design watchdog said it will give its 'overall' support to Gehry's project, dubbed 'tin can towers' by critics, but maintains the planning authority should 'consider certain aspects carefully'.

The statement read: 'We think there is more to do to demonstrate the clear shaping of the external spaces, including the role and character of these places relative to the buildings' lower levels and the landscape design.

'We think that further work is required in the thresholds between different uses, internal and external.

'The absence of the proposed landscape in the architectural drawings and model suggest a lack, as yet, of an integrated and coherent approach to the courtyards to which the whole team are committed.'

The scheme has endured a torrid time right from the start and developer Josh Arghiros, managing director of Karis, is delighted by the news.

He said: 'This is a fantastic endorsement of the work that has been put in to enhance the scheme by Frank Gehry and all the design team as well as the council itself - and we are really pleased with CABE's overall support.

'We agree wholeheartedly that this will be a landmark project for Brighton & Hove and would like to thank all the consultation groups and individuals that have provided such valuable feedback to help us achieve this.

'We are looking forward to working with all parties further to reach a successful planning consent.'

by Richard Vaughan

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