Great Western Developments and Sellar Paddington Limited have unveiled revised proposals for the redevelopment of the former Royal Mail Sorting office adjacent to Paddington Station.
The proposals include a signature building to be called The Paddington Cube, more than an acre of new public realm and substantial investment in the transport infrastructure.
Designed by the internationally renowned award-winning Renzo Piano Building Workshop (“RPBW”), the key feature of the £775m proposed development will be a 360,000 sq ft 14-storey office cube lifted 12m above 1.35 acres of new public space. Once completed, The Paddington Cube will be capable of accommodating up to 4,000 new jobs for Paddington. The scheme will also provide 80,000 sq ft of retail and restaurant accommodation over five levels, to include a rooftop restaurant, dramatically improved access to Paddington Station and a £65m investment in a new Bakerloo line station and ticket hall.
“When you exit the station you will see a clear floating cube ‘levitating’ above the ground,” said Renzo Piano and Joost Moolhuijzen of RPBW. “We are obsessed with lightness and have given the building a sense of flying above the ground and defying the laws of gravity. The façade 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.”
The new proposals follow extensive consultations with local residents and stakeholders conducted over the past four months. It became clear from those meetings that a lower-rise building would be preferred together with a range of amenities and vastly improved transport connectivity.
Irvine Sellar, Chairman of SPL, said: “We wanted to create a building that reflected the needs of the local community but also gave visitors to London something special to welcome them. Paddington is an international gateway to the capital. We want to deliver a beautiful building and a dynamic new public space that will become a destination in its own right.
“RPBW has perfectly balanced the desires of the community, the constraints of the site and the need for commercial viability to produce a scheme that will transform Paddington Station’s front door and the immediate area around it. At the same time Paddington Place will be a catalyst to create a thriving neighbourhood – for retail, leisure and business.”
“The Cube floats 12m above the street level, creating an active and generous meeting place for people with restaurants and outdoor seating areas,” said Joost Moolhuijzen. “The pedestrian zone links two open public spaces: to the West is the new station forecourt, to the East is an intimate urban square just of Praed Street.”
Renzo Piano described the current Bakerloo entrance as a cramped and claustrophobic “Kingdom of Darkness”. He said: “Our design of the new public realm creates a new spacious entrance, physically and directly connected to the main station. Our ambition is to make it a truly outstanding place for people to work and visit, adding new life and vibrancy to the Paddington area.”
For decades the area directly surrounding Paddington Station has become increasingly congested as existing transport facilities have struggled to cope with rising passenger numbers. This is only set to grow when the Elizabeth Line (Crossrail) is completed in less than three years’ time as morning peak passenger movements will grow from 47,000 in 2011 to an estimated 94,000 by 2041.
These new proposals will make a major contribution to improving the experience and creating a dramatically uplifted environment directly around the station as well as delivering a first class international gateway and transport hub.
Sellar Property Group is in discussions with Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, to explore potential areas of collaboration
The proposals were unveiled at the public exhibition on Saturday 16th July and continued on Monday 18th and Tuesday 19th, with a further exhibition in September.
Full details are available on the website www.paddingtonquarter.co.uk.