Work is beginning again on the stalled 1 Commercial Street tower on the edge of the City of London in the Borough of Tower Hamlets.
Previously a victim of the international banking collapse of 2008, and the failure of its Icelandic backers, the scheme has been picked up by Redrow Homes, one of the largest domestic builders in the United Kingdom.
This marks quite a change for a company like Redrow who had previously concentrated on suburban housing estates and left the development of city centre towers to rivals like Barratt Developments and Berkeley Homes.
Replacing John Seifert Architects on the designs are Broadway Malyan. Previous original plans for the scheme saw a wholly office tower planned of 17 floors above ground, but these have been revised.
There will be a ground floor, followed by office floors from levels 1 to 6. Above that all the way to the penthouses on the 21st floor will be a collection of 217 new residential apartments.
The retention of the office on the lower part of the tower may have something to do with the fact that the scheme had already progressed too far for them to modify these floors substantially into residential. As such they have noticeably larger floor-to-floor heights of 3.775 metres each rather than the 2.75 metres for the residential floors. This reduction of about 1 metre in each floor has allowed the developers to fit more floors into what is almost the same size building envelope as before of approaching 80 metres in height.
The design remains much as before, but the offices will have revised brise soleils attached to their concrete floor slabs to improve the solar shading of those floors. For the residential apartments projecting stainless steel and aluminium balconies will feature instead, These provide visual cues as to the nature of each floor in the development.
On the eastern corner of One Commercial Street will be a projecting glass fašade overhanging the pavement. At night it's intended to light this up providing the latest illuminated colour focal point for London's still orange skyline.
Work halted on the development in late 2008, but is now finally restarting. Redrow meanwhile are busy promoting the scheme to the upper end of the London residential market.
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