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Renzo Piano-Designed Tubular Tower Proposed for London

First the Shard, now the Tube? Italian architect Renzo Piano recently made another bid to shape the rapidly changing London skyline with plans for a new tower in Paddington. Piano's proposed new 65-story skyscraper would be among the city's five tallest structures when finished, reaching 224 meters (735 feet) above West London.

The project reunites Piano with developer Irvine Sellar and his Sellar Property Group, which also developed the Shard and hopes this massive project becomes a similar catalyst for nearby areas. Sellar sees the proposed tower, part of a mixed-use development at a former mail sorting station being called 31 London Street, as a bid to revitalize West London near Paddington station; he told the Financial Times the only reason one would currently visit the neighborhood is to "catch a train or to meet someone in hospital." Projected to open in 2020 at a cost of up to £600 million ($927 million), the scheme includes 200,000 feet of office spaces, restaurants and shops, with the tower mainly serving as a residential centerpiece of roughly 200 new homes. The top floors would contain restaurants and an open-air park modeled after Kew Gardens, setting up an especially expensive after-dinner stroll.

Plans for the development are expected to be submitted next month. Hopefully the developers have more luck here than with the Shard; after taking a dozen years to build, the tower sat empty for months before high-priced tenants began leasing large amounts of office space.

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Overwrought Shell Conceals Porous, Visitor-Friendly Design in Renzo Piano's New Whitney Museum [Curbed]
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21 First Drafts: Renzo Piano's Italian Industry Pavilion [Curbed]