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Wednesday30 July 2014

Cabe slams Squire’s One Tower Bridge plans

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Doubt voiced over desire to create high-profile cultural destination

Squire & Partners’ planned Potters Field redevelopment close to London’s Tower Bridge is architecturally no match for surrounding landmarks, Cabe has claimed.

In a damning report, Cabe’s design review panel said the scheme, also known as One Tower Bridge, needed to “change significantly” if it was to have any chance of standing its ground among the better-known attractions on London’s South Bank, such as the nearby Tate Modern and Foster & Partners’ City Hall.

The mixed-use development includes 400 apartments along with retail and an 8,000sq m arts or “cultural use” space, which Cabe said needed to be sorted out urgently to allow redesign work to take place.

“We recommend that when the cultural user is identified the design is allowed to develop and change significantly to suit the brief of the specific user,” Cabe said. “We are nervous that the cultural space might become, for example, commercial floor-space and hope that the cultural use will be safeguarded.”

The design review said clients Berkeley Homes and Southwark Council wanted the development to be a high-profile cultural destination.

“Therefore, it is vital that the landmark qualities of the development signify and advertise its cultural use,” Cabe said. “We feel strongly the cultural use should be articulated with a presence of its own that transcends the residential use.”

It added that a planned “campanile” should be removed from the design in order to strengthen the design proposal.

The design has also been criticised by neighbouring Greenwich Council. In a letter to Southwark, which is also the planning authority, Greenwich “expressed concern on the excessive height”

of the development, which it claimed would ruin protected views of St Paul’s Cathedral from Blackheath Point.

Squire & Partners declined to comment.

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Readers' comments (2)

  • The only thing worse than "greenwash" to justify a development is "culturewash" and in this case the boys seem to be flying a kite suggesting a cultural partner that doesn't seem to be on board.
    Building typology will vary from one cultural use to another - libraries to museums to theatres for example - and tying it down to one use seems necessary to actually complete the design, in terms of fire safety studies alone.
    Its possible that a large, multi-story space could be engineered into the structure touching on several points of support, servicing, access and egress, but Cabe seem rightly concerned that this could all transmogrify into just another few floors of commercial use once square footage and transportation numbers are extablished.

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  • Hi there !
    I thought by entering this site there would be plans (drawings) of Tower Bridge available. I can use such drawings for reference as I am making a scroll saw model of the bridge.
    Would you be able to point me in the right direction as to where I could find such reference please ?
    Thank you in anticipation,
    Yours,
    Timothy

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  • Hi Timothy,
    We generally cover new architectural projects and would include architects drawings of these in our stories. We may have once run drawings of the existing structure of Tower Bridge, but not that I can recall. Sorry not to be of more help.
    Anna Winston
    Online Editor

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