England-wide tall plans and business deals

The SOM-designed building has a tapered profile.

SOM-Designed Tower for London Tall-Building Hotspot

Investor London & Oriental wants to build a 56-story office tower designed by Skidmore Owings & Merrill (SOM) in London’s bustling eastern skyscraper cluster, close to iconic buildings such as the Leadenhall Building (ELEVATOR WORLD, September 2013) and 30 St. Mary Axe (the Gherkin) (EW, February 2016), The Architects’ Journal reported. Expected to house an insurance firm, 100 Leadenhall Street would replace 100, 106 and 107 Leadenhall Street. With a design that tapers as it rises to provide unobstructed views of St. Patrick’s Cathedral, it would sit next to the proposed 73-story 1 Undershaft (EW, February 2016). Construction is not expected to begin until at least 2020, due to existing leases.

Hyde Names Apex Preferred Bidder

Apex Lifts was named a preferred bidder on The Hyde Group’s framework for “General Passenger Lifts Refurbishment (Lot 1).” Apex will be on the framework for four years, with opportunities for mini-tenders for planned work programs, which will be based on the age, condition and availability of spare parts for passenger lifts, with the potential to tender for emergency lift modernization or replacement works.

Hyde Head of Procurement Andy Clorley said:

“We’re really pleased to now have four professional suppliers on our framework who will enable us to achieve the best value for our residents. As this framework is available for other social-housing providers to access, we hope that other residents across the sector will benefit, too.”

Apex said it has more opportunities to expand its experience within the housing sector and further enhance its project portfolio with Hyde, which is responsible for more than 350 passenger lifts. It expects work across southeast England and London.

Tallest Residential Building in Birmingham Envisioned

The trio of buildings comprising phase one of developer Nikal’s Exchange Square in the works in Birmingham could get a significantly taller neighbor in the form of a 46-story structure that, if built, would be the tallest residential building in the city, Construction Enquirer reported. Exchange Square’s current tallest building is 27 stories. The 46-story structure would be part of phase two, which has more than doubled its number of homes to 565, including in an adjoining seven-story building. Nikal is working with Sir Robert McAlpine on the project, intended to be “dramatic and architecturally stunning.”

“Neighborhoods in the Sky” by UNStudio in London

The developer of a 31-story development at 257 City Road near Shoreditch in London, described by architect UNStudio as “neighborhoods in the sky,” has sold nearly all 190 apartments within its 22,000 m2, dezeen reported. Canaletto Tower apartments are grouped in vertical clusters by bands on the structure’s aluminum-and-concrete façade. The luxury development boasts a communal terrace and residents’ lounge, a swimming pool, spa treatment rooms, a gym and a cinema. On the 24th floor, a portion of the building is cut away to create a tapered pinnacle, and a restaurant is planned in a glass-fronted section facing City Road.

Plan Would Replace Landmark Hotel With Modern Structure

If architects SimpsonHaugh’s plans come to fruition, a landmark hotel in the London Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea would be demolished to make way for a new project that would include a hotel, residences and a “garden square,” BD Online reported in November. Property owner Queensgate Investments and developer Rockwell engaged SimpsonHaugh to design a replacement for a 28-story, early 1970s hotel designed by Richard Seifert. The existing structure is considered outdated, is costly to maintain and offers little capacity for upgrading, the developers said.

The new building would have a stepped design of seven, 18 and 28 stories but would house only 756 rooms — 150 fewer than the current Kensington Forum Hotel. It would, however, add 178 residential units, as well as open, publicly accessible space. The plan would incorporate sustainable design and durable materials, which the developers said would contribute to a minimum lifespan of 150 years. The borough is expected to rule on the plan by 2019.

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