Dubbed the “Flower Tower” and officially known as Hertsmere House, this new residential tower by HOK will be London‘s tallest residential building, reaching 771 feet. The petal-shaped tower was awarded planning permission last week to be constructed in East London’s Dockland area.
The 67-story building will offer 861 flats, of which 96 will be “affordable.” Also included are shops, a pool, a cinema, and gym, though it’s advised that you don’t drive there, as only nine parking spaces will be available, all for disabled users. Another plot on Dalgleish Street in Limehouse adds 60 more “affordable” homes.
Shanghai developer Greenland Group has hailed the design as a “vertical city” as it looks for tenants for the scheme.
Despite its flowery nickname, all has not been rosy for the “Flower Tower,” which has be been subject to criticism from heritage group Historic England.
While the structure will offer views of West India Quay and the Isle of Dogs, Historic England worries that the building will disrupt views of these historic landmark areas as well as in Greenwich.
Meanwhile, 15 local residents have written letters of complaint arguing that their homes will be cast in permanent shadow when the tower goes up.
Jumping on board, Credit Suisse bank (whose voice is likely to carry more clout) argues that their nearby offices will be subject to noise disruption, vibration as well as dust and air pollution during the construction phases of the project, which should take a few years.
In reply to this, council’s director of development and renewal, Aman Dalvi, said that “The site is highly suitable for a tall building.” “The tower would be of a high architectural quality, providing a marker at the end of the dock,” he added. “[It] would also form part of an established cluster of tall buildings.”
Greenland says the project is its “most important project in Europe,” and is reportedly paying Tower Hamlets Council $27.2 million, allocated solely for the affordable housing program. Meanwhile, an additional, $31.1 million will be contributed via “Community Infrastructure Levy and section 106 contributions.”
Construction of the tower also controversially involves temporarily removing the Grade II–listed West India Docks gateway and wall, a former port for all the West Indian cargo shipped in under the Imperial rule. Once the tower is built, the wall and gateway will be reconstructed brick by brick.
Construction on both the Dockland and Limehouse sites will break ground later in the year with the tower projected to be complete by 2020.