Sixties icon will be re-established as a landmark destination for London. The future of London’s iconic Centre Point complex has taken a huge leap forward today with the confirmation that planning permission has been granted to give it an imaginative new lease of life.
Camden Council has granted the Centre Point partnership between Almacantar and Frogmore permission for a complete regeneration of Centre Point Tower, the Centre Point Link Bridge and Centre Point House. The scheme will fill the void between Oxford Street and Covent Garden with a new destination “hub” for the centre of London.
Originally commissioned by property entrepreneur, Harry Hyams, and designed by Richard Seifert, Centre Point encapsulates the optimism, imagination and design flair of 1960s London. However, despite its iconic design and focal location, its true potential has been held back by the road system at its base and a lack of cohesion between the building use and the surrounding space.
But that is set to change. The transformation plans will put Centre Point back at the centre of the cultural map as a place where people “arrive” to live, shop and socialise. The vision is for Centre Point’s transformation to breathe new life into the West End, with Centre Point the vibrant focal point between Covent Garden and Oxford Street.
The Crossrail development will open up the location to more people than ever before. The fast connection between Heathrow and the West End, and the expansion of Tottenham Court Road station, will effectively make Centre Point the most likely place where new visitors from around the globe will “emerge” in London – reaffirming Centre Point’s geographic and symbolic position as the epicentre of central London.
Almacantar and Frogmore are working closely with partners including Transport for London, Camden and Westminster Councils on plans to vastly improve the surrounding area in the form of a pedestrianised square that will enable Londoners, visitors and residents to enjoy this unique destination and connect Oxford street, Soho and Covent Garden.
Specifically, the plans for this phase of the redevelopment include:
- 82 residential apartments, ranging from one bed apartments to four-bed duplexes
- New shops and restaurants created by removing the mezzanine floors and recent partitions, stripping the building back to reveal more of its original design
- A new building delivering 13 affordable housing units on-site
- New shop frontages, and improvements to the brise-soleil concrete lattice work at first floor to make the building feel more transparent and welcoming
- Improvements to the building, including cleaning and repairing the iconic façade and making the building significantly more energy efficient
- A commitment from Camden and Transport for London to deliver a world class square and transport hub in the heart of the West End, making Centre Point a key connection point in the Capital
Mike Hussey, Almacantar Chief Executive, said: “With Crossrail’s arrival, there is growing impetus behind the drive to revitalise this part of London and Centre Point has to be at the forefront of that.
“We intend to transform the way Londoners view and interact with Centre Point, while always staying true to its heritage. Our ambition is to ensure the scheme is re-established as a landmark destination that Londoners can be proud of.”
Paul White, Frogmore Chairman and Chief Executive, said: “This is a victory for intelligent and sustainable thinking. The area has been blighted for too many years and London, looking forward to Crossrail and other huge investment, needs its arrival experience to be of the highest quality.”
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Notes to Editors
Almacantar is a property investment and development company specialising in large-scale, complex investments in Central London, with the potential to create long-term value through development, repositioning or active asset management. Since launching in 2010, Almacantar has acquired three prime assets with untapped potential in the heart of London: Centre Point, Marble Arch Tower and CAA House.
Frogmore is a leading UK real estate fund management company and is a joint venture partner with Almacantar on Centre Point. Founded in 1961, Frogmore has extensive UK investment knowledge and experience and today is exclusively a manager of private equity real estate funds.
About Centre Point
Built in 1966 on St Giles Circus, Centre Point has enjoyed a colourful history: admired as the original Pop Art skyscraper, lambasted as it lay largely empty over its lifetime, bemoaned as a concrete eyesore, then celebrated for its ‘elegance worthy of a Wren steeple’. Now almost 50 years old, Centre Point is in need of thoughtful intervention to secure its future. With the arrival of Crossrail and the rapid regeneration of the area around Tottenham Court Road and St Giles, there is a unique opportunity to revive a London landmark, sitting at the heart of this area of transformation.
Centre Point, which was granted listed building status in 1995, is being transformed by Rick Mather Architects and Conran and Partners who will revive its sixties design appeal alongside cutting edge design and technology.
Construction is due to begin on site in early 2014, with completion expected by 2016.
The redevelopment of Centre Point is a joint venture partnership between Almacantar (75%) and Frogmore (25%).