Zaha Hadid Architects Unveils Design for Controversial London Skyscrapers


Zaha Hadid Architects have revealed their plans for a new mixed-use, dual-tower development located on the Vauxhall Cross Island site adjacent to London’s Vauxhall Station.

The plans for the two skyscrapers, measuring 185 and 151 metres respectively, were submitted by the architecture firm in late-2017, attracting controversy.

The development, if approved, would represent the architecture firm’s first venture into a mixed-use project in London.

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The towers will be connected by a street level podium providing a number of uses included a hotel, offices, residential, retail and public amenities. The design will reportedly create a new neighbourhood public square in South London.

The project will create approximately 260 new apartments, which will be "a mix of private and affordable".

[Related reading: London’s Newest Skyscraper Gets Green Light]

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Critics of the Vauxhall plan are opposed to the height of the towers and the proposed demolition of an existing public bus station. Local residents and campaign groups have been angered by the reconfiguring of public facilities to accommodate a private project.

The Lambeth Council has identified the Vauxhall Cross Island area as a “key regeneration site”. The site owner is VCI Property Holding Limited.

The area is part of the wider Vauxhall, Nine Elms, Battersea Opportunity Area Planning Framework, which has allowed for the proliferation of tall buildings along the western stretch of the River Thames' south bank.

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To date Zaha Hadid Architects has only designed public buildings in London including the London Aquatics Centre and the Serpentine Sackler Gallery.

[Related reading: Westfield's £1.4 Billion London Shopping Centre Gets Green Light]

Zaha Hadid Architects however maintains its proposal fulfils the brief and will help regenerate the area.

“The design responds to Lambeth Council’s aspirations for a district centre for Vauxhall by creating a vibrant new public square adjacent to the busy rail, underground and bus interchange. The proposal also accommodates Transport for London’s existing plans to upgrade the traffic gyratory and bus station to provide greater accessibility and safety for all,” the firm said in a statement.

“This project will generate approximately 2,000 new jobs in the borough within a mixed-use design that includes a new public square, homes, offices, shops and a hotel - providing vital civic space, amenities and employment for the growing Vauxhall community.”

[Related reading: Hong Kong Investor Unveils Plans for London’s Second ‘Cheesegrater’]

In all, the development would consist of a new 500-room hotel, 260 residences, approximately 220,000 square feet of office space and 7,000 square feet of retail.

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