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The Redevelopment Of 64 Buckingham Gate

64 Buckingham Gate is a mid 70s international style office tower near Victoria. Along with the nearby Windsor House it marks the last hurrah of modernist style redevelopment in the area, particularly that which came at the expense of a controversial demolition of a historic building.

Now the tower, already partially residential, is to be converted into a fully residential building with the addition of another 65 apartments but there will be no affordable housing on the site as the developer claims service charges will be too high, that affordable housing should have a separate entrance, that they cannot provide any outside amenity, although the five bedroom penthouse will have a substantial roof terrace, and that in the case of the lower rise buildings they might have some north-facing affordable units or that the affordable housing would eat into office and retail space.

In the place of not building affordable housing, the developer has offered the council 3.645 million, which if one were to build 16 residential homes would translate into 224,000 per unit, a sum too small to actually provide 16 suitably sized affordable homes in the City of Westminster, an area which has re-housed 32,643 poorer households outside the city in areas like Slough.

The developer, the Anquila Corporation, has also approached housing associations who have refused to get involved as they believe too little affordable housing could be provided on the site given the present plans.

Being close to Victoria Railway Station there's also a problem with the homeless sleeping in local doorways, but the developer has pledged to provide security guards to make sure no one falls asleep on the enlarged public realm.

The tower, already dark, will also be reclad with a new black sheath of anodized metal glazing and further efficiencies made through new triple glazing that has been designed by project architects, Fletcher Priest.

Adjacent to the tower are two low-rise podium buildings which will be completely demolished. The first on Palmer Street and Brewer's Green will have a six-storey brick clad building erected in its place with ground floor retail and five floors of offices and an increase in height that reduces daylight for neighbouring residential properties, but according to the council isn't harmful enough to justify refusing the project. This will be clad in brick to help it blend in to Caxton Street, and topped by a roof garden for the office tenants to use.

The second at 63 Buckingham Gate will be a mere three storeys with ground floor retail and offices above. The retail space will total 1,175 square metres, a reduction of 186 square metres on the existing site but a reduction justified by the increased public realm. The cladding here will be designed to fit in better with the Albert Public House, a grade 2 listed Victorian pub that sits next door.

Despite the issues with the development about the poor housing contribution, the project has been approved by the City of Westminster.

Article Related buildings:

64 Buckingham Gate

64 Buckingham Gate
64 Buckingham Gate, London
64 Buckingham Gate, London