Renzo Piano has had quite a year, with the high-profile opening of the Whitney Museum and inclusion in the final round of firms submitting for the Obama Presidential Library, to name two milestones. But you can't win them all. Dezeen reports that his plan for a 72-story skyscraper in London, nicknamed the Tube, has been withdrawn due to pressure from locals and protests against the larger development. The Architects' Journal headline nails it: "Piano's Paddington Pole pulled from planning."
Renderings via Renzo Piano Building Workshop.
In a statement, developers Irvine Sellar and Great Western Developments said they will revise the entire project, a renovation of Paddington Station in West London that would have included 200,000 feet of office spaces, restaurants and shops, before resubmitting to the Westminster Council. Sellar had previously worked with Piano to develop The Shard, London's tallest tower and the anchor of another large development. This similarly ambitious scheme was expected to cost up to £600 million ($927 million).
Piano's plan for the cylindrical tower was also attacked for being too tall by many locals as well as fellow architect Terry Ferrell, who labeled the entire concept "piecemeal and opportunistic." In addition to criticizing the scale of the proposal, Ferrell also added his own mid-rise neighborhood development plan to the mix.
The opposition also included Historic England and Skyline Campaign, which fought the plan with the slogan "Die Shard II." This pull-back is the latest round in a battle over the fate of London's skyline, with many complaining that a wave of tall towers will ruin the city's skyline.
It's back to the drawing board for the Pritzker laureate; Renzo Piano Building Workshop has been retained to continue work on the revised project.