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Shigeru Ban wins planning for debut UK scheme

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Southwark Council has approved a five-storey timber-framed home by Shigeru Ban and Waugh Thistleton Architects for a plot close to Tower Bridge in London.

The Tooley Street scheme will be the first UK project for the Japanese architect who is known for his innovative work with cardboard and timber.

It will feature three bedrooms, a roof terrace and a home office or workshop on the ground floor.

Sitting on the edge of Potters Fields public green space, the building will take the form of ‘a pagoda in the park’ according to planning documents.

The 21.5m-tall structure will be just 5.4m wide at its north elevation. A lift will provide access to the four habitable floors above the basement plant room.

Potters Fields Park Management Trust raised a number of concerns about the house. These included a warning that the scheme would ‘impinge upon the openness of this area of the park designated as Metropolitan Open Land through overlooking, sense of enclosure and over shadowing’.

The Trust said it could suffer ‘loss of revenue to the park as a result of noise complaints to events in the park which are established and essential to the successful operation and function of the park’.

However the Southwark Conservation Areas Advisory Group said it was ‘intrigued’ by the ‘clever’ proposal with its ‘obvious Japanese influence’.

‘The panel thought the scheme an obvious contrast in scale, style and materials to the adjoining hotel building and felt the proposal could offer an interesting feature in the area,’ said the group.

Planning officers said the building, with its ‘modest height, scale, mass and detailed design’, would not have a significant impact on the openness of the park nor a significantly detrimental impact on the enjoyment of the public amenity.

They recommended the scheme for approval and this was granted.

Tokyo-based Shigeru Ban Architects has offices in Paris and New York, while Waugh Thistleton is based in Shoreditch.

shigeru ban waugh thistleton site in potters field

shigeru ban waugh thistleton site in potters field


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