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Renzo Piano's 'game-changing' Paddington Cube given green light despite local opposition

It is a big, ambitious project that secures a £65m nvestment in public space and transport infrastructure
– Robert Davis, Westminster City Council deputy leader

Planning permission has been granted for London's controversial ‘Paddington Cube’ development designed by architect Renzo Piano.

Westminster City Council’s Planning Application Committee approved the 14-storey project on 31 London Street earlier this week, despite complaints from campaigners and heritage groups that it will have a negative impact on the capital’s skyline.

The £775m (US$978.3m, €917.5m) cubic building will replace the former Royal Mail sorting office next to Paddington Station. In addition to offices, around 80,000sq ft (7,400sq m) of retail and restaurant accommodation will feature over five levels, including a rooftop eatery. The building will be lifted 12m (39ft) above a stretch of public realm covering an acre.

An earlier concept for the site – centred around a 72-storey skyscraper and nicknamed ‘the Paddington Pole’ – was scrapped at the beginning of the year following a barrage of complaints from campaigners.

The Sellar Property Group – which is developing the project and previously collaborated with Renzo Piano Building Workshop to build The Shard – responded by holding local consultations and proposing the alternative cube-shaped structure, and this vision was enough to convince city planners.

“Paddington is the front door of our city for many visitors with vital rail connections linking London to the country and the world, and The Cube development will create the infrastructure we need to build a brighter future for this part of Westminster,” said Robert Davis, Westminster City Council deputy leader and cabinet member for the built environment.

“Designed by Renzo Piano, one of the great architects of our time, these plans are a game-changer, breathing fresh life into the area. It is a big, ambitious project that secured a £65m (US$82m, €77m) investment in public space and transport infrastructure and will create around 4,000 new jobs.”

However, the project seems set to face further opposition. NHS Trust Imperial College Healthcare, which runs the adjacent St Mary's Hospital, has raised “very significant concerns” that the building will obstruct access for ambulances serving its major trauma unit and is “urgently seeking clarification from the council on the conditions for planning permission.”

Renzo Piano  Paddington  London  Paddington Cube  architecture  design  Westminster  Sellar Property Group   English Heritage  St Mary's Hospital 
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18 Jul 2016

Renzo Piano unveils 'gravity defying' Paddington Cube proposal

Planning permission has been granted for London's controversial ‘Paddington Cube’ development designed by architect Renzo Piano. Westminster City Council’s Planning Application Committee approved the 14-storey project on 31 London Street earlier this week, despite complaints from campaigners and heritage groups that it will have a negative impact on the capital’s skyline. The £775m (US$978.3m, €917.5m) cubic building will replace the former Royal Mail sorting office next to Paddington Station. In
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The £775m (US$978.3m, €917.5m) cubic building will replace the former Royal Mail sorting office next to Paddington Station / Sellar Property Group
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