CABE Attack Olympic Gateway Tower

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CABE Attack Olympic Gateway Tower

Post by Mr007 on Thu Dec 02, 2010 9:38 am

CABE Attack Olympic Gateway Tower

Published on 01-10-2007 by
The Commission for Architecture and Built Environment has attacked the latest plans by Stock Woolstencroft for a new tower and lower-rise buildings in Stratford on the edge of the 2012 London Olympics site.

Situated at 150 High Street Stratford, the proposals by Stock Woolstencroft are for seven new buildings between 10 and 41 floors with the tallest being a tower of 133 metres. They will have within 736 new apartments, a 144 bedroom hotel, plus ground level shop and office accommodation, a nursery and a surgery.

Public landscaped areas will be between each block with changes made to the riverbank that will see the removal of the existing wall allowing a more natural river edge that can be appreciated and used by the general public, something that CABE support.

At the heart of CABEs criticism is their fear that the site is not suitable for a tall building which raises the question of where but a gateway to the Olympic site would be?

CABE believe that the future context cannot be used as a justification for such a tall tower even though there are numerous other tall developments are at a pre-planning stage for the area including Sugar House which CABE seems to fail reference in their report.

Even if the site is the right place CABE are unconvinced that the design for the main tower element is high enough quality to justify the inclusion of such a tall building on the masterplan believing that "the architecture of the tower generic and we are not convinced that the alleviating architectural devices can be achieved in reality".

General thinking works on the basis that tall buildings should be of good quality design, and those which are in particularly sensitive spots such as a gateway to the Olympic site should be of exceptional quality.

They also pick on the lower-rise blocks that are targeted for their density which could lead to poor levels of sunlight for some occupiers opposite the planned hotel, a key point that the architect will perhaps need to address if they are to make all the residential accommodation suitable.

This is compounded by the lack of outdoors space that is specifically set aside for residents with the key family blocks of F and G failing "benefit from access to the communal gardens and many of the units in the tower have no balconies."

A big part of CABEs criticism comes from the lack of information in the original planning application and the documents they have been consulted with including the lack of a proper design study and a sustainability report deemed "generic".

Much of this can be addressed by a resubmission if the planning application with more documents but if the architect truly want to impress CABE, then it seems that the quango wants them to try much harder.

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