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Rogers towers reveal future development of Bankside - images

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Richard Rogers Partnership (RRP) has submitted plans for a new tower development next to the Tate Modern in London - finally killing off the controversial Philip Gumuchdjian tower.

The five residential buildings will sit to the south-west of Herzog & de Meuron's astonishing new Tate extension which was unveiled by the world-famous gallery earlier this week (ajplus 25.07.06).

RRP's Holland Street proposals have been warmly welcomed by local residents who had waged a high-profile war - supported by Tate supremo Nick Serota - to block the original Gumuchdjian tower scheme.

The 20-storey building became the centre of a fierce legal battle and the project only won approval following a decision by the House of Lords.

After securing the go-ahead, landowner Meyer Bergman then decided to drop Gumuchdjian and replace his scheme with a design by Hamilton Associates (see below).

However Clan Real Estate and Grosvenor, a new joint venture acting under the name GC Bankside, has now snapped up the proposed tower site in Hopton Street.

According to the developer - which also owns the neighbouring Holland Street plot - work on the Meyer Bergman proposals has now been suspended pending a decision on RRP's 28,000m 2scheme.

If Southwark Council gives the development the thumbs-up, the Hopton Street site will be flattened and turned into a new public square while the five RRP apartment buildings, ranging in height from five to 24 storeys, will be built next door.

David Lough, chairman of Bankside Residents for Appropriate Development, said: 'Having campaigned vigorously against the Hopton Street Tower, we welcome the proposed scheme.

'The creation of an increase in open space is a major victory for local residents in Bankside.'

RRP project architect Graham Stirk added: 'As the original masterplanners of Bankside, we are particularly pleased to be involved in creating this high-quality residential scheme. Our masterplan recommended the joining together of individual sites and this scheme is a good example of how this can be done successfully.'

by Richard Waite

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