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Ilford Twin Tower Project Begins

Pioneer Point, a controversial project in Ilford in East London is starting construction. The twin inter-locked towers of 31 and 25 floors rising up to 105 and 82 meters in height are the first of numerous schemes for the area to be realised.

With wedge shaped tops and scattered white cladding over blue glass, and a glass atrium running between them on the lower floors joining them together, the scheme ran into serious difficulties during the planning stage where it was criticised by the Commission for Architecture and Built Environment as "poor, inappropriate design". Despite this it managed to clear the planning hurdles thanks to the support of London Mayor, Ken Livingstone who backed the towers with particular enthusiasm for their environmentally friendly credentials.

The towers, which will sit on top of the art deco styled Pioneer Market, now a hollow shell, will contain some of the latest in environmentally friendly technology including a combined heat power plant to sustain the power for services inside the development such as communal lighting.

Once completed Pioneer Point will contain a total of 264 apartments plus a brand new medical centre of about 2,600 square metres designed to provide the residents of Ilford with some of the best in non-urgent modern medical care.

Although currently closed, the market location will contain and be refashioned into a large crafts market providing a wide range of multi cultural goods so shoppers can show their neighbours they are in touch with their African side. At almost 2,000 square metres it's clearly aimed as being a landmark shopping venue to draw in visitors from all over London. There will also be the usual range of the more boring shops.

Developer, the Empire Group, hope to have the project finished for 2007, well in time for Stratfords time in the sun at the 2012 Olympics that it will be hosting. It won't be alone either, there's already advanced plans for a number of other towers in Ilford of similar towers although these are the tallest.

Pioneer Point is the latest tall buildings to start construction in London after a dearth of activity in 2004 and the first half of 2005. Work has also begun in the last six months on the 104.5m tall Ontario Tower, the 126m Willis Building and only last month on the 139m Pan Peninsula Tower, formerly known as 1 Millharbour.

More significantly this project shows the gaining momentum that tall residential developments are now having in London. It will take just one more residential tower over 100 metres to start construction for London to have more 100m+ residentials being built than having been completed in the entire history of the city, proof that high-rise living is finally catching on after having been given a bad name by sixties council blocks. Whether this can weather any downturn in the economy and the market can be sustained remains to be seen but it shows without a doubt that Aussie style condo living is finally beginning to catch on.

Article Related buildings:

Pioneer Point North

Pioneer Point North
Pioneer Point South

Pioneer Point South
Stratford Gate

Stratford Gate
Pioneer Point Ilford
Pioneer Point Ilford