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HOK wins go-ahead for ‘Western Europe’s tallest residential tower’

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Proposals for a 67-storey tower in London’s Docklands - touted as the tallest residential building in Western Europe - have been given the go-ahead by Tower Hamlets Council

Architect HOK’s Hertsmere House will occupy a 0.53 hectare plot at West India Quay, north-east of Canary Wharf’s main cluster of buildings.

The site, near Grade I-listed docks buildings by George Gwilt the Younger, formerly housed a low-rise 1980s office development.

Drawn up for developer Greenland Group, were approved by Tower Hamlets’ Strategic Development Committee last week (February 18). They include 861 apartments, of which 96 are earmarked to be ‘affordable’.

A further 60 affordable homes connected to the scheme are to be provided in a new part-four, part-seven-storey development by Stephen Davy Peter Smith Architects at nearby Limehouse.

A statement from the China-based developer said financial contributions would be made to the council that would allow for the provision of additional affordable housing, bringing the scheme’s effective contribution up to 30 per cent.

Greenland said Hertsmere House’s ‘petal-shaped’ design was architecturally unique, visually striking and a new addition to the London skyline. It added: ‘At 240.5m AOD the building will be Western Europe’s tallest residential tower.’

In addition to its new homes and 941m2 of commercial space, the building will feature communal amenity pavilions for residents that will be connected to the tower by glass winter gardens, landscaped roof terraces, public open spaces, and both internal and outdoor children’s play areas.

Setareh Neshati, senior planning manager at Greenland Group, said Hertsmere House was the developer’s most important project in Europe. 

‘Our scheme will revitalise this part of Canary Wharf and create a new prosperous environment that the whole community can enjoy,’ she said. ‘The carefully designed public realm will provide the most appropriate and balanced setting for the proposed residential building.’

HOK’s proposals are the third super-hi-rise scheme for the plot in Hertsmere Road site to come forward in recent years.

In 2009 Mark Weintraub won planning permission for a 63-storey mixed-use office, hotel and residential block, then dubbed Columbus Tower.

Two years later Squire and Partners was brought in by developer Commercial Estates Group to ‘design review’ the original 242m-tall skyscraper (see AJ 11.03.11).

The plot was sold on to Greenland in 2014. Greenland said last night’s approval paved the way for work on the tower to start later this year and completion in 2020, if relevent further approvals came forward quickly enough.

HOK's Hertsmere House tower

HOK’s Hertsmere House


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