Remember the planned, and indeed approved tower called Vauxhall Sky Gardens in London? Well despite having secured planning approval for the designs, the development is now being re-jigged although the original building mass will remain as before.
The first of the changes made by Fraser Property Development UK is that the floor-plates of the tower have been reduced in width making it more slender whilst the curving corners are further emphasised. In doing so, Carey Jones has replaced Amin Taha as the architects who have had no involvement in the new design.
The cladding has been modified and gone is the complex patchwork of glass that would have previously clad the tower in favour of vertical strips with exposed transparent glazing all the way up the south-western side of the tower now. Fortunately the sky gardens that have given the project remain both a quarter of the way up the tower, and crowning its top.
The uses of the development have also been changed with the lower-rise element that bounds on to Wyvil Road now set to be affordable housing with the tower itself having office space on the first to seventh floors with residential accommodation above that.
One reason the council will have given planning permission to the original design was because it was a good quality building. It seems however that planning law allows the developer to use that permission to set a precedent for height in the area and then propose something else that keeps within the previous building envelope that would perhaps, have never originally been allowed.
This way they have defused the issue of height preventing it from being attacked on those grounds. It should be interesting to see if this approach is successful and, in time, if Lambeth Council approve the new application.
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