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Centre Point To Become Transport Centre Point

Centre Point has always been a project of two halves. On one side there's the much loved Seifert designed tower with its slender profile and concrete honeycomb fenestration that's now listed by English Heritage as a glowing example of architecture of the era.

On the other side is the integration of the building at ground level and one of London's most infamously bad attempts at getting pedestrians and traffic working together that has given many a Londoner a close brush with death in the form of an oncoming double decker bus.

Stanton Williams has now been brought on board along with public realm designers Gillespsies, who have worked closely with Camden and neighbouring Westminster councils to transform the street-scape.

The solution is surprisingly simple and simply involves pedestrianising fully the area around Centre Point removing motor traffic and other features and creating a large open and minimalist space around the tower perimeter. Tree planting will add a spot of greenery to an otherwise grey piazza.

Presently Centre Point has a water feature, often dried up that will be removed - a blow for wasted clubbers who enjoy jumping around in it in the early hours of a hot summer's night but something unlikely to be missed by anyone else.

Of more importance will be the eradication of the underpass that loops under the western wing of Centre Point that has for years been a hazard to pedestrians along New Oxford Street allowing pedestrian permeability all around the tower for the first time.

Puncturing the piazza will be two new underground station entrances to the nearby Tottenham Court Road Station that are aimed at being part of the transformation of St Giles Circus which Centre Point overlooks into a major transport interchange.

Made of glass and carbon fibre, these entry points will not only allow improved access taking the strain off the current and often busy narrow existing entrances but open up views from inside of Centre Point itself turning the tower into a striking visual aspect to be enjoy from within the station.

The scheme is still at the planning stage but along with the nearby St Giles Court by Renzo Piano, the area around St Giles Circus should be transformed in time for the 2012 London Olympics.

Article Related buildings:

Centre Point

Centre Point
St Giles Court

St Giles Court