Plans for a new residential tower near Earls Court in London by developer Multiplex are still locked in negotiation almost a year after they were originally proposed.
The scheme at 100 West Cromwell Road has been designed by Woods Bagot Architects to sit on the site of the existing Tesco Supermarket with Tesco acting alongside Multiplex as a development partner.
The 92 metre tall tower, if approved will contain 435 new apartments, 158 of which will be affordable, in the 28 floor tower element and the nearby 12 storey apartment wing standing above a three level podium.
The tower has been designed unusually in two curving flanks along the north-south elevation that meet in the middle to take advantage of the solar shading of the scheme orientation and maximise natural light for residents in an attempt to reduce the energy consumption of the project.
This is further emphasised by the lack of depth in the residential accommodation allowing sufficient sunlight penetration, two slender wings have this advantage over a larger single mass. The edges of the bookends also serve to accentuate height when viewed from an angle.
North and south faces of the building are much less elegant and more conventional with blocks sandwiched between the bookend sides and set back with juliet balconies running up their centre giving a more bulky appearance from some view points but allowing further daylight penetration.
This isn't the first scheme to be proposed for the site of such a large size. Persimmon Homes in 1996 attempted to get planning permission for a residential project of about 92 metres in height but fell over when confronted with opposition to the uninspired design and lack of affordable housing. The height of this has however played into the current Woods Bagot design with the architect aiming for something slightly shorter.
A second development, phase 2 of Fenelon Place, a 77 metre tall office block had more luck and was approved by Kensington and Chelsea council but this has yet to be realised by the developer even though phase 1, has been built and with plans by Multiplex will not be progressing.
There have been a number of sticking points between the architect/developer and the local Kensington and Chelsea Council who whilst minded to approve the project, not least because it can count to their housing targets, are still liasing with the developers over some issues the scheme presents.
The main ones are the ground level which the council would like to be publically accessible with community facilities, something that is so far missing. The other hitch is the make-up of the housing in the proposal that does not feature family flats and is geared to people without children.
Once these are sorted it could be third time lucky for the site in a long-running development story that's taken over a decade so far.
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