Friday, 11 November 2016

Stanhope to Build Three New Buildings at White City Place

White City Place - as proposed
Stanhope Plc, Mitsui Fudosan UK and AIMCo have submitted planning applications to build three new buildings on the 17-acre Gateway Site at White City Place (formerly BBC White City).

The new buildings will be called Gateway West, Gateway Central and Gateway East.

According to Stanhope, the new Gateway buildings "will provide 100,043 sq m (1,075,000 sq ft) of space and create 8,000 new jobs".

So, no slowdown in the pace of growth and new development in our neighbourhood then.

According to Stanhope, the Gateway development "will complete White City Place as the major business hub in west London totalling over 2 m sq ft.", including "extensive public realm improvements" as well as "the creation of a central square".

The three new proposed buildings will be in addition to the existing buildings at White City Place (formerly BBC White City, or BBC media Village): MediaWorks and Garden House, Broadcast Centre, Energy Centre and Lighthouse.

Westfield expansion. 
Of course, all this extra space is in addition to the new offices, homes and restaurants at Television Centre, which famously is to include a Soho House members’ club with a rooftop pool, as well as three refurbished TV studios for use by the BBC.

North of White City Place is the massive new Imperial College White City Campus, which is "co-locating research, entrepreneurs, established companies and global corporations on a scale unprecedented in London".

And let's not forget the expansion of Westfield, with a new John Lewis to open in 2018 alongside "more than 420 stores", adding 51,000 square metres of new space, making it most likely the largest shopping mall in the UK.

It's an astonishing pace of change. But are the steel and glass buildings proposed for White City Place beautiful additions to our neighbourhood? Maybe.

St James development - more steel and glass towers
Personally, the architecture seems pretty soul-less to me, too similar to the steel and glass anonymity of the Paddington basin, and also the new St James development on the old M&S warehouse site, which got planning permission in the summer of 2015.

But Stanhope is keen to assure locals that the new buildings will be vibrant and buzzing, and that they are trying their best to integrate all this shiny new office space with attractive shops, independent restaurants and a pedestrian-friendly environment.

Let's hope they manage to pull it off.

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