Architecture

Pair of Zaha Hadid-designed skyscrapers set to rise in London

Pair of Zaha Hadid-designed sk...
Vauxhall Cross Island will include two eye-catching skyscrapers that are defined by an interesting grid-like facade and joined by a podium building
Vauxhall Cross Island will include two eye-catching skyscrapers that are defined by an interesting grid-like facade and joined by a podium building
View 9 Images
Vauxhall Cross Island will include two eye-catching skyscrapers that are defined by an interesting grid-like facade and joined by a podium building
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Vauxhall Cross Island will include two eye-catching skyscrapers that are defined by an interesting grid-like facade and joined by a podium building
Vauxhall Cross Island consists of a larger tower reaching a height of 185 m (606 ft) and another smaller one measuring 151 m (495 ft)
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Vauxhall Cross Island consists of a larger tower reaching a height of 185 m (606 ft) and another smaller one measuring 151 m (495 ft)
Vauxhall Cross Island reportedly met resistance from some locals and looked unlikely to go ahead, but has now been given the green light
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Vauxhall Cross Island reportedly met resistance from some locals and looked unlikely to go ahead, but has now been given the green light
Vauxhall Cross Island will include a new public square and pedestrian routes will also be created
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Vauxhall Cross Island will include a new public square and pedestrian routes will also be created
Most of Vauxhall Cross Island's interior will be given over to office space
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Most of Vauxhall Cross Island's interior will be given over to office space
Vauxhall Cross Island's ground floor will host retail and dining space
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Vauxhall Cross Island's ground floor will host retail and dining space
Vauxhall Cross Island will include hotel space with 500-plus rooms
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Vauxhall Cross Island will include hotel space with 500-plus rooms
Vauxhall Cross Island will include roughly 260 apartments, some of which will be affordable social housing
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Vauxhall Cross Island will include roughly 260 apartments, some of which will be affordable social housing
"This proposal 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,” says Zaha Hadid Architects
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"This proposal 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,” says Zaha Hadid Architects
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Two eye-catching skyscrapers by Zaha Hadid Architects that are envisioned for London, UK, have been granted planning permission, though the project has reportedly proven controversial with some locals. Vauxhall Cross Island will include office, hotel, and residential space.

The Vauxhall Cross Island project, which late studio head Hadid herself is credited as designing along with longtime creative partner and current Zaha Hadid Architects boss Patrik Schumacher, consists of a skyscraper reaching a height of 185 m (606 ft) and another tower measuring 151 m (495 ft). The pair will be connected by a podium building measuring 49 m (160 ft) in height, and a new public square and pedestrian routes will also be created.

Vauxhall Cross Island's ground floor will host retail and dining space
Vauxhall Cross Island's ground floor will host retail and dining space

The towers will be defined by an interesting grid-like facade that's a little reminiscent of the firm's 582-606 Collins Street and One Thousand Museum, and while details are scant at this stage, the majority of available floorspace will be given over to office space, plus there will be a new 500-plus room hotel and roughly 260 new homes, some of which will be affordable social housing. Additionally, the street level will host retail and dining areas.

The project was originally unveiled a couple of years ago and looked unlikely to go ahead as both towers breach local planning laws, which state that buildings must not be over 150 m (492 ft). Additionally, local campaigners reportedly claimed that it could cause travel chaos for up to 70,000 commuters per day, despite a plan to replace a bus station (that will be removed during the build) with another.

This kind of issue was recently brought into sharp focus in New York City, where a skyscraper may have to be reduced in size due to local opposition. However, in this case, the authorities decided to give Vauxhall Cross Island the thumbs up on appeal, writing that the architectural quality of the project was "undeniable" and that there "would also be no material changes to views in the wider area."

Vauxhall Cross Island reportedly met resistance from some locals and looked unlikely to go ahead, but has now been given the green light
Vauxhall Cross Island reportedly met resistance from some locals and looked unlikely to go ahead, but has now been given the green light

We've no word yet on when construction of the skyscrapers is due to begin construction, nor an expected date of completion.

Source: ZHA

View gallery - 9 images
4 comments
AeroMG
Zaha Hadid's designs are always over-the-top and hit-or-miss, in my opinion. That said, I really like this design. It's not too eccentric and still manages to be distinctive and creative. Hope it becomes reality!
Alexander Lowe
Visually striking and architecturally innovative this development may prove to be. However, what London desperately needs is affordable accommodation, rther than projects like this, where the afordable housing is a small concession. This will be another money-spinner of rents for the rich, or parking ill-gotten gains from abroad. My guess is that most of the money it generates will go offshore, as well.
ljaques
I loved Zaha's designs, but I don't think this is one of hers. It appears that some of her firm's architects have caught some of her organic design skills, finally, though. I like this pair of buildings. WTH is a "podium building", though? I also tend to agree that London needs more affordable flats in town, just not right there. If England doesn't master itself over the failing EU, that point's moot. Best of luck, UK.
Ashish Bagade
Mumbai has more better and even taller Skyscrapers than London