• Land Secs reshape of Victoria continues

Developer Land Securities has received approval for the latest part of its transformation of Victoria. Two new blocks, at Bressenden Place, Victoria Street and Allington Street.
The buildings will sit on top of the newly improved Victoria underground station and transport interchange, and the site is currently being used to construct these facilities. They were approved in principle in the Victoria Transport Interchange masterplan, which was approved in 2009.
The latest approvals cover two office buildings, of 12 and 14 storeys, 35 affordable housing units, ground floor retail and a library. The designs revise earlier designs already approved, but which the developer had now reassessed as being not commercially feasible.
The first block, named Nova Place, will include the offices and residential, as well as rehoming elements of the listed Sutton House, which had to be demolished to enable the transport upgrade works to proceed. The main difference from the consented scheme, is the addition of more affordable homes from a preivous 35 units, up to 42.
The second block, Nova East, will have more office space than the previously consented design, adding a further 7,000 sq m of floorspace.
Despite the inclusion of affordable housing within Nova East, a further payment will be required to meet Westminster’s tariffs. A series of negotiated fees have been agreed, depending on the outcome of various scenarios, to do with whether some or all of the elements of the project get built out.
The style of the buildings, by Lynch Architects, is less angular than the other new office blocks recently developed around the Victoria site, providing a nod to the older buildings nearby and the adjacent theatre. The vlock immediately abutting the theatre uses an open facade treatment, to break up the apparent bulk of the block.
The new buildings add to the current massive changes taking place in Victoria, largely led by Land Securities. Other elements of its Nova project is currently under construction, with blocks designed by PLP, Benson + Forsyth and Flanagan Lawrence. The first phase, with 480,000 sq ft of offices, 79,900 sq ft of retail and 170 apartments is due to complete in the middle of next year. Already, tenants including Egon Zehnder have rented office space, ahead of completion.

LPA Perspective: Land Securities is delivering a massive makeover of the Victoria area, and started by working up Victoria Street and providing some architectural interest and delight, in the form of Kings Gate and the Zig Zag Building. With Nova taking shape, there is more to come, supported by a much improved level of public transport infrastructure.
The densification of accommodation around key transport nodes such as this, is just what the capital needs. An application for the new Sellar/Piano tower at Paddington has just been submitted, promising to help open up that station. When will work really get started at Waterloo?

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