One Southwark Bridge Tower

London / United Kingdom / 2018

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ICON-OMY



In today’s icon-omic and extravagant city of London, how can you design a tower—which its own raison d'être is being an icon—without becoming conventional? Where buildings are parametrically assembled, how can you stand out keeping the pureness of the form and still creating a new totem in the London’ skyline?
Trying to answer these questions and following the inevitable client’s requests about the profit area the new building has to produce, the design of the One Southwark Bridge Tower origins from the addition of so much simple shapes that one could define them “generic” but which, through their way of reacting to the surrounding, realise a unique architecture, where a counterpoint of volumes establishes a new icon without necessarily being iconic.


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Later in the design phase, a recent proposal for Southwark Borough views background related to St. Paul’s Cathedral emerged, making the tower hardly feasible. This new scenario also changed the perspective within the concept of the project. If the existing towers in London are generally built outside the panoramic corridors which allows views to St. Paul’s, what happens when you try to insert a tower inside one of these? If the corridor is something “holy”—in every way—is the tower “blasphemous” then? Would it be possible to realise an iconic building which could directly dialog with the London icon par excellence?
It would certainly be an unprecedented challenge between two icons or, let’s say, two “logos” within the city. However, in spite of its indisputable height and the interference with a view corridor, the tower would not hinder the Cathedral but rather would place itself side by side with it, as a privileged speaker.
Therefore, despite representing already a provocation for being the first tower directly sited on the Thames riverfront, this proposal assumes a further meaning calling into question—theoretically, at least—the current role of view corridors in today’s extravagant London skyline.

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    ICON-OMY In today’s icon-omic and extravagant city of London, how can you design a tower—which its own raison d'être is being an icon—without becoming conventional? Where buildings are parametrically assembled, how can you stand out keeping the pureness of the form and still creating a new totem in the London’ skyline?Trying to answer these questions and following the inevitable client’s requests about the profit area the new building has to produce, the...

    Project details
    • Year 2018
    • Status Unrealised proposals
    • Type Apartments / Office Buildings / Bars/Cafés / Restaurants
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