Home > News > Skyscraper News > London > United Kingdom > A Look At Marble Arch

A Look At Marble Arch

Modernist tall building, Marble Arch Tower, could soon be for the chop if developer Almacantar gets its way.

The existing 82 metre tall building, which stands at the end of Edgware Road overlooking Marble Arch, was designed by TP Bennett and constructed between 1962 and 1966. Although last renovated in 2000 with work led by Treehorn & Norman, the development was sold in 2011 to the current owner for approximately 80 million.

The development site includes the architecturally significant Odeon that was constructed alongside it. This was the largest cinema built in the post-war period with a screen measuring 23 feet wide by 9.1 metres tall with a curvature of 5.2 metres. The unusual scale was to allow the display of 70mm film prints as well as the more conventional 35 mm prints meaning if you wished to view Lawrence of Arabia in London this would be your preferred venue. Unfortunately the interior was destroyed in 1996 despite public outrage, with the conversion into a five-screen multiplex removing any likely chance it would receive historic protection today.

The developer has hired Rafael Vinoly Architects who have penned a collection of curving buildings to minimize their bulk. With only a 17-storey residential tower standing partially where Marble Arch Tower currently is, it will be substantially shorter - some ten metres in all. This will reduce the profile of the scheme when seen from nearby Hyde Park. From some views it now vanishes behind the tree-line completely.

Inside will be a mere 53 apartments, although all of these are substantial in size when compared to the average in London. The one-bedroom apartments have a comparatively roomy 82 square metres of space, whilst the two 6 bedroom units will have 618 square metres of net internal area filling half a floor each.

A second shorter building, to comprise largely of offices, will be constructed on the site of the cinema, with a new public route running through the site from Edgware Road to Bryanston Street.

As an example of just how inefficiently designed the present office tower is, although there will only be six storeys of office space in the shorter building, it have 12,831 square metres of floorspace, a fall of only 1,074 from what is already there.

Decorating its exterior will be some very prominent new public art. Although yet to be commissioned the intention is that this will rise seven floors in height and wrap around part of the upper levels in such a way that it should be integrated with the facade.

Throughout the ground level of the project will be new shopping space, with new retail frontage increased from 120 metres to 246 metres reflecting the prime location it fills. Further to this, Odeon will get a new cinema that will be constructed underground filling much of the basement of the project.

In lieu of affordable housing on site, a new low-rise development will be undertaken at 446-490 Edgware Road to provide 76 new homes plus 655 square metres of retail space and a new petrol station. The creation of more units off site than would otherwise be possible, has been achievable thanks to the lower land values here than the prime location.

The next step of the development will be a planning application which is expected to be submitted before the end of the year. Work is scheduled to start on site in the second quarter of 2015, although it will require a lengthy demolition process before the buildings can finally be completed in the second half of 2018.

Article Related buildings:

Marble Arch Tower

Marble Arch Tower
Marble Arch Tower

Marble Arch Tower
Marble Arch Tower, London
Marble Arch Tower, London