London is undergoing a residential tower boom driven primarily by the flood of foreign money eager to take advantage of a cheap pound and favourable taxation. The latest project to benefit from this is the former Beetham Tower in Southwark, now being developed by St George.
The scheme won planning permission in October for a revision that saw it stripped of an upper observation platform and the internal accommodation re-jigged so that the 152-room hotel would be placed in the six-storey building off Rennie Street. The main tower will contain 274 new homes.
Nicknamed the Boomerang thanks to its shape, which in reality allows views of the Shard from Waterloo Bridge, the scheme has been modified to create a new public square in its heart that the skyscraper will partially overshadow thanks to its design. This space has been able to be created due to the physical separation of the buildings of the project that were previously connected through a raised podium.
Although first impressions of the skyscraper may make it appear the same as before, the palette of the inner fašade has been revised to create a metallic look. Coloured panels, which are used most extensively around the lower levels, draw from yellow to more neutral metals that fade away nearer the top.
There will still be a viewing lounge but this will now be located a little above half way on level 32 with public access from a single express lift that's connected to the public square. This will now be not-for-profit whereas the previous upper viewing level was going to see a hefty charge for access.
Site preparation for the 163 metre tall development is due to start later this month with piling beginning in February 2013.
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