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Viñoly wins approval for revised Marble Arch Tower scheme

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Developer Almacantar has won the go-ahead for revised plans by Rafael Viñoly for a £450 million redevelopment of Marble Arch Tower in London’s West End

The reworked scheme for the site close to Hyde Park includes more office space than the original proposal - approved by Westminster City Council back in June last year (AJ 04.06.14) - and a new feather-like sculpture by emerging artist Lee Simmons.

The earlier project featured 11,400m² of office space alongside a multi-screen cinema, 53 apartments and 3,300m² of shopping space.

The revised plans will still see Trehearne & Norman’s 23-storey tower overlooking Hyde Park demolished and replaced by a cylindrical-shaped skyscraper. However the replacement for the 1966 landmark has been increased in height from 17 to 18 storeys adding an extra 930m² of commercial space.

The overall number of homes in the new scheme has dropped by four, from 53 flats to 49.

Kathrin Hersel, development director of Almacantar, said: ‘The [revised] plans will address The Portman Estate’s requirements for additional office floor space. Also, the scheme will unlock a very important affordable housing project for the City of Westminster. This gateway location overlooking the finest of the Royal Parks deserves a world-class development.’

Explaining the concept behind the proposed sculpture, Simmons added: ‘My idea is focused on capturing a snapshot or passage of time that occurs within the natural world. I hope to create a moment of contemplation through my art, helping to connect the architecture with the natural beauty of the Royal Park across the road.’

The revisions will not impact on an already consented £70 million sister scheme by Terry Farrell in Edgeware Road - part of the Section 106 agreement between Almacantar and the local authority relating to the Marble Arch Tower redevelopment.

Farrell’s design includes retail and 76 townhouses and apartments of which 47 will be affordable housing. A disused petrol station will also be reopened,

Both projects are expected to complete in 2018.


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