More Problems For Doon Street Tower

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More Problems For Doon Street Tower

Post by Mr007 on Fri Dec 03, 2010 8:01 am

More Problems For Doon Street Tower

Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands' plans for a tower at Doon Street on the South Bank in London have run into problems again.

The 140 metre largely residential scheme being developed by local neighbourhood body, Coin Street Community Builders, has hit some withering criticism from the governments main architectural quango, the Commission for Architecture and Built Environment, despite them widely praising the revised design.

The Doon Street Tower was previously reduced in height from over 168 metres, with the cladding material now changed from stainless steel to stone but retained the overall look of the earlier design along with the community facilities that the sale of residential properties within the scheme would fund.

Rather than pick on the projects architecture, the sticking point is the impact that the tower will have from Somerset House which sits on the northern bank of the River Thames approximately half a mile away. In the past the Doon Street Tower proposals were visible from within the courtyard jutting above the roofline of Somerset House which lead to the height reduction the current version has had.

It appears now that this isn't enough shrinkage for CABE who say it "will be visible from the entry sequence and higher terrace of Somerset House, will detract from the setting of the grade I listed building" and that the "visual impact of the tower on Somerset House means we are unable to give it our support."

What this means is that the Doon Street Tower would appear above the Somerset House roofline from inside what is currently a private members bar several floors up.

This hasn't stopped CABE backing other proposals in the past which have been visible from Somerset House. Visual analysis of sightlines by English Heritage show that the approved Heron Tower in the City of London is not only visible from the river terrace of Somerset House but even appears behind the dome of St Paul's Cathedral from there.

The lack of support from CABE is not always a fatal blow to a project but the missing endorsement from the organisation can prove fatal to a scheme. Whether Lambeth Council, who ultimately will make the decision, care about Somerset House on the other side of the river remains to be seen.

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