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Allies and Morrison Pen Hanging Gardens Towers

Allies and Morrison Architects are continuing their semi-domination of tall buildings in Bankside with these proposals for new student homes.

Located on a site near Southwark tube station, the developer Hive Student Residences plans to build two new residential towers of student accommodation reaching 14 and 17 storeys high that share a combined podium.

A new premises for the Central School of Ballet who are relocating to the area will be on the lower floors offering a readymade body of students whom the developer can house.

The designs appear at first glance to be a typical Allies and Morrison affair being dominated by their boxiness with a defined grid placed over it expressing the structure, a trick seen in many of their buildings.

This time however the typical glass and metal is eschewed for timber outer cladding that creates a visibly wooden frame around the buildings differing strongly with the man-made glass underneath.

Adding to the appearance and helping transform the buildings natural look further is the use of green walls that will be placed on the outside of the service cores where there are now windows.

These living walls are a type of vertical garden, often in the form of hedging, that is placed on the side of the building which can be joined to the buildings air circulation systems to act as a filter with expelled air.

Although still a rare sight in the UK, an example of this can be viewed at Peninsula Square in Greenwich next to the Millennium Dome. They are set to become an increasingly common sight in Southwark however - the planned square at 20 Blackfriars Road has also been planned with green walls.

Allies and Morrison hope that they can secure planning permission as soon as possible meaning that the proposals could be finished for 2010.
Central School of Ballet, Southwark
Central School of Ballet, Southwark