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Archway Tower was built in 1963 by the UK government. In 1967, the building was sold off and rented back on a 42-year lease and used for Social Security. The building was empty for several years before becoming home to the Public Guardianship Office in 2001, which became the Court of Protection and the Office of the Public Guardian in 2007. In October 2007, the tower was sold by Wichford plc to Scarborough Property Group. The Court and the Office of the Public Guardian vacated the building in 2011.
After sitting vacant for 2 years, Essential Living purchased Archway Tower in 2013 for £6 million, with plans to make the building “one of the country’s biggest office to residential conversions”.
Refurbishment for rental
The project involved the change of use from commercial to residential, a re-cladding and then retrofit of weasel words] into 118 purpose designed private rental apartments.[
The change of use and refurbishment of a 50-year-old building presented Essential Living with significant challenges to overcome.
Whilst the 1960s construction was very robust, the construction tolerances acceptable in that period are very different to those typically allowed these days. This meant that interfaces between the old structure and the new façade needed to be very well thought through and detailed. Issues such as cold bridging, loading factors and the use of asbestos were all addressed during the design phase.
After 2 years in construction – including a full internal re-fit and full external re-clad – a newly named Vantage Point opened its door on the 1st September 2016 and welcomed its first residents.
Vantage Point now operates as a residential apartment block with 118 studio, 1-bedroom and 2-bedroom apartments exclusively for rental spread over floors 1-15, along with an abundance of shared amenity space on the 16th and 17th floor.
In popular culture
Archway Tower is said to have inspired the song "Archway Towers" by New Model Army. Toppers' House in Nick Hornby's 2005 novel A Long Way Down is said to have been indirectly inspired by Archway Tower, but also by the eponymous Archway over Archway Road.
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