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Paddington Cube gets planning permission

Paddington Cube gets planning permission

A giant cube-shaped building to be located near Paddington Station has been granted planning permission, following the abandonment of a previous skyscraper project for the site.

The Cube is a £775 million development that Great Western Developments and development partner Sellar Paddington will be building on the site of the former Royal Mail sorting office next to the station.

It represents a plan B for the developers, after the original idea of a slender 72-storey residential tower was axed after it ran into strong local opposition. Had it been built, the tower - dubbed 'The Pole' - would have been the tallest building in west London.

The Cube represents a complete return to the drawing board, as it has no residential element at all. Instead, it will consist of 280,000 sq ft of office space and 80,000 sq ft of retail and restaurant space. It will be 14 storeys in height altogether and will be situated on top of a three-storey podium above 1.35 acres of public space.

In addition to the construction of the building itself, the development will include £65 million of spending on public transport improvements, with better access to Paddington Station and a new ticket hall for the Bakerloo line Tube station there.

This striking design is the brainchild of architects Renzo Piano and Joost Moolhuijzen of the Renzo Piano Building Workshop. In a statement, they said: "When you exit the station you will see a clear floating cube 'levitating' above the ground.

"We are obsessed with lightness and have given the building a sense of flying above the ground and defying the laws of gravity. The facade will be crystalline, like a fine lace of steel and glass in a clear pattern like the beautiful arches and skylights of Brunel’s station."

Despite its size, the Cube will not be the largest cube-shaped building in Britain. Its Birmingham namesake, designed by local architect Ken Shuttleworth, is 25 storeys high.

Image: iStock


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