Amanda Levete and Tony Fretton among those drawing up plans for London tower
The owners of Tower 42 have invited four architecture firms to come up with ideas on how the area at the base of the building can be modernised to better connect with the City of London.
Avery Associates Architects, Amanda Levete Architects, Hawkins Brown, and Tony Fretton Architects are all drawing up plans to improve the links and public realm around the Richard Seifert-designed building, formerly the NatWest Tower, which at 183m was the tallest building in London for 10 years following its opening in 1980.
The building’s joint owners – BlackRock UK Property Fund and LaSalle Investment Management – asked the firms to come up with a scheme that would ensure better connectivity between Tower 42 and KPF’s The Pinnacle, Roger Stirk Harbour & Partner’s Leadenhall and Foster & Partner’s 30 St Mary Axe (aka the Gherkin).
BD understands the proposals include a new 15-storey building beside Tower 42 – still the tallest occupied building in the City of London - which would help connect its entrance to Bishopsgate, one of the City’s main thoroughfares.
The clients intend to appoint a single firm to take the work forward on a phased basis.
“It’s not open enough, it’s not inviting,” said one source close to the contest. “They want it to face more on to Bishopsgate, not Old Broad Street.”
The winning scheme would replace Studio Egret West’s 2008 masterplan for the Tower 42 estate, which proposed an 11-storey “honeycomb” design wrapped around the base of the tower, but not attached to it, providing retail space.
BlackRock UK Property Fund and LaSalle Investment Management declined to comment.