Working for Great Western Developments, a joint venture for Sellar Property Group and Hotel Properties Limited, Renzo Piano has designed this new skyscraper to sit on the Royal Mail site next to one of London's busiest railway stations.
Paddington, made famous by the bear of the same name, is one of the main western railway terminals into the capital and expected to become the fourth busiest station in the country, and has seen gradual redevelopment around it since the turn of the century that has included Merchant Square but this marks the tallest building yet.
The tower itself will rise to 224 metres in height making it by far the tallest building in the City of Westminster, with a total of 65 storeys. With circular floors, apartments will likely be arranged radially around the core whilst the external cladding will have the same sort of high quality glazing and transparency that one has come to expect from Renzo Piano. Topping it will be three storeys of restaurants, and a public roof garden that is compared to Kew Gardens, although the involvement of Kew was previously touted for 20 Fenchurch Street too, and then gradually dumbed down.
Called 31 London Street, the scheme features 200 apartments, 15,000 square metres of office space that will be arranged in small suites allowing for flexible tenancy contracts, and 5,000 square metres of retail, cafes and restaurants on the ground level.
At the very centre of the scheme will be approximately one point two acres of new landscaped public space situated between the tower and the station entrance that runs adjacent to Praed Street. In particular it will provide a direct connection with the Bakerloo line ticket hall allowing for easier access rather than the labyrinthine routes that commuters presently have to take.
A planning application is due later this year, but no construction schedule has yet been announced.