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Design contest launched for alternative to Paddington Pole

Renzo Piano Building Workshop proposed Paddington tower
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Lobby group Create Streets has launched a design competition for the site of Renzo Piano’s Paddington Pole tower 

The group is seeking proposals for the wider area including where the tower for developer Irvine Sellar was set to stand. 

The plans for a 254m-tall skyscraper by Shard-designer Piano were pulled from planning in February after concerns were raised about its height and impact. 

The planning application for the 72-storey tower had received more than 890 objections and an online petition against the scheme launched by Skyline campaigner Barbara Weiss has so far topped more than 2,000 signatures. 

The project, which featured a new Bakerloo tube station, offices, new public piazzas and 691 homes, was also attacked by the Victorian Society and Historic England alongside architects Terry Farrell, Ed Jones and Francis Terry. 

The site for the open ideas contest extends around the old Royal Mail sorting office which was set to be demolished to make way for the tower scheme and also takes in the nearby Mercure Hotel building on Praed Street. 

The competition announcement said judges would be looking for ‘street-based’ designs which achieved a minimum density of 177 homes per hectare. 

According to a statement, Create Streets said it was launching the competition in a ‘positive spirit of assistance’. 

It added: ‘At Create Streets we believe we need to think about the area around Paddington on a larger scale than merely the one site owned by the developer behind Paddington Place. We believe this way we can come up with something that really benefits everyone.’ 

The winner of the contest will be announced on 2 May and there is currently no plans to build the scheme but Create Streets hopes the designs will help to guide any future plans for the area. 

Renzo Piano Building Workshop is currently working on a revised scheme for the site for Irvine Sellar. 

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Readers' comments (1)

  • As part of Create Street's 'positive spirit of assistance' their design brief should contain enough floor space to throw off a £60m contribution towards the £100m cost of station improvements being demanded from the present developer by Transport for London. Otherwise the excercise is futile.

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