Design watchdog says the project will not impact on views
Design Council Cabe has given its approval to David Chipperfield’s designs for Elizabeth House in south London, despite earlier concerns from Unesco.
The £600 million project came under fire earlier this year when Unesco inspectors visited the capital to inspect the impact of developments at Waterloo. It had expressed concern about the views from World Heritage Site Parliament Square.
But the design watchdog said the scheme would not have a detrimental impact on the views from across the river, and that all future tall buildings in the Waterloo development area — including those at the Shell Centre — should be designed to relate to it.
In its report, the national design review panel said: “The subtle stacking of the volumes creates the impression of a slender tower when seen from certain viewpoints, particularly from the north-east.”
Chipperfield’s design includes the demolition of the 16-storey Elizabeth House, which will be replaced with a 29-storey office and residential tower. A second 10-storey building will include further office space with retail at ground floor.
The panel also praised the proposed public realm for the area around the building and Waterloo station. It singled out the geometric paving pattern, but said the landscape design should be stronger to reflect the “strong architecture” of the buildings.
DCC also said the council should consider adding seating in the space around Victory Arch “to avoid that such facilities will be installed later in a random way”.
Chipperfield won a competition to work up proposals for the replacement of Elizabeth House, beating Grimshaw and Hopkins, in September 2010.
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