St George Wharf Tower

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St George Wharf Tower
St Georges Wharf Tower 2013-09-26.jpg
The tower in September 2013
General information
Status Complete
Location St George Wharf, Nine Elms Lane, Vauxhall, London, England
Coordinates 51°29′6″N 0°7′38″W / 51.48500°N 0.12722°W / 51.48500; -0.12722Coordinates: 51°29′6″N 0°7′38″W / 51.48500°N 0.12722°W / 51.48500; -0.12722
Construction started March 2010
Height
Roof 181 metres (594 ft)
Technical details
Floor count 52
Floor area 223 flats
Design and construction
Architect Broadway Malyan
Structural engineer Robert Bird Group
Main contractor Brookfield Multiplex

St George Wharf Tower, also known as the Vauxhall Tower or The Tower, is a residential skyscraper in Vauxhall, London, part of the St George Wharf development. At 181 metres (594 ft) tall with 50 storeys, it is the tallest solely residential building in the UK.[1][2]

The building's construction crane was hit by a helicopter in January 2013, causing two deaths.[3]

Design features[edit]

The Tower's form has been designed to be elegant and un-gimmicky. The unique floor plan concept is based on the shape of a Catherine wheel and is typically divided into five apartments per floor with separating walls radiating out from the central core.

Sky gardens will provide residents with a semi-external space stepped forward from the pure circular plan, creating steps in the façade that will accentuate the building's verticality and provide variety and interest in the detailing of the otherwise minimal cladding.

The building is designed into three legible parts – a base that will house the communal facilities of the building including a lobby, business lounge, gym, spa and swimming pool, a middle section where the typical apartments are located, and the top where the façade reduces in diameter to provide spectacular 360° terraces which will lead the eye to a wind turbine that crowns the structure.

The wind turbine, manufactured by British green-technology company Matilda's Planet, will power the tower's common lighting, whilst creating virtually zero noise and vibration.[4] At the base of the tower, water will be drawn from the London Aquifer and heat-pump technology will be used to remove warmth from the water in the winter to heat the apartments. In comparison to similar buildings, the tower will require one third of the energy, and will produce between one-half and two-thirds of normal CO2 emissions. It will be triple-glazed to minimise heat loss in winter and heat gain in summer, with low-e glazing and ventilated blinds between the glazing to further reduce heat gain from direct sunlight.

Special stairs for the luxury lower penthouse apartments are supplied. These apartments and stairs are a mirror of each other. In one of these apartments is 360 degrees of vision across the whole London. The highest swimming pool of London is located in this apartment.[5]

Planning[edit]

Following ongoing advice from the government architectural body, CABE (Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment), two revised planning applications were submitted and subsequently withdrawn. A final decision was made by the Deputy Prime Minister in April 2005, and the tower was approved. This has been the subject of considerable controversy, owing to the tower's height and its proximity to the Palace of Westminster.

Construction[edit]

As of October 2011, the concrete core had reached level 22. Glass curtain wall construction began in September 2011, with floors 1 & 2 completed by October.[6] As of March 2012, the core had risen beyond the 44th floor. By October 2012, the steel and the core had reached full height, and the installation of the wind turbine began with the glass a few floors below the top of the tower.

2013 Helicopter crash[edit]

Damage to the crane jib following the accident

On 16 January 2013, at approximately 08:00 GMT, two people died when an AgustaWestland AW109 helicopter struck the construction crane attached to the near-complete building and then crashed onto Wandsworth Road, hitting two cars and igniting two nearby buildings. One of those killed was the helicopter pilot, who was flying alone; the other was a pedestrian. The crane was seriously damaged in the incident, but the crane operator was late for work, and so not in the cab as he would otherwise have been.[7][3]

References[edit]

External links[edit]