Architecture » New Scotland Yard Towers
New Scotland Yard Towers
Country: United Kingdom
Address: Victoria Street
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Floor count: 14 floors, 20 floors
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Design and construction
Building Uses: residential, library, Theatre, parking garage
New Scotland Yard
New Scotland Yard Towers Complex
Westminster planners have recommended approval for the redevelopment of New Scotland Yard on Ten Broadway, despite criticism of its scale.
The plans by Squire and Partners call for the demolition of the Metropolitan Police headquarters on Victoria Street in order to replace it with six residential towers of 14 to 20 stories. The buildings would rise above two podium blocks containing offices above retail.
The proposals also incorporate the development of a new pedestrian shopping street between the two podiums and the creation of a three-level basement containing parking and leisure facilities, which would include a swimming pool, library, and cinema.
Critics of the project include Historic England, which explained that “some harm” was likely to be caused to designated heritage assets. The organization is concerned primarily with the development’s height and massing and the effect it could have on the view from County Hall on the South Bank. Architect Barbara Weiss of the Skyline campaign called it a “tragedy,” while the Victoria Neighbourhood Forum urged the council to reject the application on the grounds it was “wholly inconsistent” with the local planning brief, which said the site should be redeveloped at eight to 10 stories.
The project has already been revised once. The Thorney Island Society, a local amenity group, welcomed these revisions, but remained “troubled” by the size of the blocks on Victoria Street. The group explained that, “The heavy articulation of the solid patterned grid on the façade still makes the buildings appear quite overwhelming, and the alteration of the treatment at ground to third floor levels does not improve this. There is also a problem with the scale of the façade pattern in relation to neighboring office buildings. Moreover, the strong pattern does not cope well with situations such as the sharp corner facing Strutton Ground, where the detailing is rather weak just where one would expect to see an acknowledgment of this particularly prominent feature.”
The plans for the site, which were acquired by Abu Dhabi Financial Group in 2014 for £370 million ($515 million), propose only ten “affordable” homes within the development, although a payment of £10 million ($14 million) towards further off-site provisions is expected.
The Met is in the process of relocating to the Curtis Green building on Victoria Embankment, and the site is expected to be vacant by mid-2016. (via BD online)
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