Croydon is definitely having its moment in the spotlight these days, with an image that’s more glam than grit, especially now it will be home to the UK’s second-tallest building – a dramatic, glistening 236-metre tower that’ll only be outdone by the Shard.
Plans have been approved by the council’s planning committee to demolish the existing buildings at 1–5 Lansdowne Road and Voyager House at 30–32 Wellesley Road to make way for this huge 68-storey tower block in the heart of Croydon’s town centre.
The eye-catching design was drawn up by CZWG Architects and will feature 330 apartments, 16,500 square metres of prime office space, a restaurant and bar with a viewing platform, plus a new leisure centre for the locals.
The architecture firm claims to have been inspired by Matisse’s famous cut-outs and abstract relief sculptures for the building’s facade, where two twisting bronze ribbons swoop up the south side of the building. The construction is actually made up of two towers, with one of the ribbons supporting the dramatic cantilevered bridge that connects the east and west blocks.
The new building, which has been designed to evoke the heyday and glamour of the celebratory skyscraper, will even rise above the iconic 50-storey Canary Wharf – it’s set to be an important new landmark in London’s cityscape and a shining beacon among Croydon’s sea of concrete.
This isn’t the first time that Croydon has been at the centre of innovative and daring architectural projects, however. Back in the 1960s it was the playground of maverick architects who have left a legacy of Brutalist landmarks, including Richard Seifert’s No. 1 Croydon, aka the ‘50p Building’, and also Apollo and Lunar House, which were built by Harry Hyams to celebrate the moon landings.
Among the relatively recent addition of a hipster Boxpark and plans for a new Westfield underway, it’s clear Croydon is on the up and this huge development only cements its new image as a top London hotspot.