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Diamond In The Rough

A planning application has been filed for another 200 metre plus residential skyscraper in Docklands, this time the so-called Diamond Tower on the Newfoundland site.

Coming from the drawing boards of Horden Cherry Lee Architects, the project is set back from Westferry Road to create new open space alongside it and angled to fit in with the street line from Park Place to Heron Quay. The architect has then taken this footprint and turned it into the distinctive diamond form it boasts.

This motif is also displayed via the external diagrid that has been planned to provide structural support for the tower, particularly along the east and west fašades that will get much of the wind that hurtles down to the dock it overlooks.

Although this could have been done using a traditional central core, it would have required a much more substantial core that the building contains leading to the sacrifice of internal space.

The diamondesque look directly represents the structural system of the building whilst at ground level it distributes the weight either side of the Jubilee Line underground tunnels that run under the site.

Within the diagrid itself are collections of external balconies for the apartments that the architect plumped for over the flush look that winter gardens would have provided. Sandwiched between the diagrid, each balcony is given privacy so that the neighbours cannot overlook each other directly, although with a rope and pulley system they could trade notes.

At ground level the tower will have a canopy for its entrance on the southern side whilst the top if will boast a wing-shaped structure that conceals the plant equipment and helps provide a visual termination for the upper tower.

In total the development contains 566 apartments, 7 guest rooms that are basically serviced studios that visitors can stay in, and 57 floors including the ground and plant levels. There are two basement levels with 124 car parking spaces and 615 bicycle spaces. The first floor will not only have a new restaurant but facilities for the occupants of the building to use.

Docklands has seen increasingly ambitious residential proposals lately including at City Pride and South Quay Plaza, and with Newfoundland now on the 200 metre plus list too the area may just be catching fire driven by the ever more exuberant London prime residential market.

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Diamond Tower, Canary Wharf
Diamond Tower, Canary Wharf