Members of the We Design For team provided structural, MEP and sustainability expertise for the 15-storey Newport Street Tower, a project that was formally withdrawn the day before it was due to be considered by the London Borough of Lambeth’s planning applications in Autumn 2016.
Architect Will Alsop described the £6.6 million block as a “gateway to the emerging Vauxhall gallery district in south London”.
As one of a series of towers emerging along the Vauxhall skyline, this design seeks to maximize the value of a very small site, whilst providing a new sculptural high rise typology.
The proposed tower, 100 yards from Damian Hirst’s Newport Street Gallery, would house 11 flats with a two-storey penthouse and roof terrace and be constructed from sprayed concrete with punched holes revealing inset balconies. The concrete would have a sparkled finish to catch the light, with the reveals to the curved holes brightly coloured.
Named ‘The Beacon’, the 1,735-square-metre tower was due to house 12 homes, all with private terraces facing out over the city. Eleven of these were to occupy an entire floor, and the 12th would have been a two-storey penthouse featuring a roof terrace.
An exhibition gallery was to be created on the ground floor to display the work of locals artists, while a children’s play area will be among the amenities provided on the first floor. The project would have also included the addition of 43 square metres of public space, including outdoor seating, trees and art installations.
Planning officers had in the past recommended that committee members refuse permission for the 17 Newport Street scheme on the basis that the proposed development’s ‘scale, massing and form would fail to protect the composition and character of a protected landmark silhouette’, which includes Elizabeth Tower of Westminster Palace (Big Ben), from within the nearby Kennington Conservation Area, specifically Courtenay Street.