Tall-building completion and other important skyline-changing updates

Twentytwo; rendering © Riverfilm Martin Richardson

Twentytwo Office Tower Tops Out

PLP Architecture’s Twentytwo, the latest high rise in the city, became the district’s tallest building when it recently topped out, the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat reported on May 16. Located at 22 Bishopsgate, the 62-story office tower being codeveloped by French investment manager AXA IM-Real Assets and Lipton Rogers now stands at its official height of 278.2 m, higher than its neighbors the Cheesegrater (122 Leadenhall Street, 224 m) and Salesforce Tower (110 Bishopsgate, 230 m).

Though the tallest in the Square Mile, Twentytwo does not overtake the Shard, across the Thames, which is 27.8 m taller. The planned 1 Undershaft, not yet under construction, will also be taller, at 290 m.

Once complete, the 118,451-m2 building will house 12,000 workers and some amenities, such as a fresh food market and London’s highest free public viewing gallery. Vertical transportation includes 67 units from Otis (18 Gen2®, 13 SkyRise® single-deck and 26 SkyRise double-deck elevators, and 10 escalators), plus three SkyBuild elevators used during construction (ELEVATOR WORLD, March 2017). According to the source, Twentytwo may have the fastest elevators in Europe.

Tweaked “Cucumber” Gets the Green Light in West London

After being in the works for at least seven years, a 46-story residential tower nicknamed the Paddington Cucumber won approval in April from city planners in west London, Building reported. Designed by Apt and officially known as 1 Merchant Square, the tower will be the tallest in developer European Land’s six-building Merchant Square project north of Paddington Basin. The original plan was tweaked to omit a seven-floor hotel element in lieu of more homes and to increase the height of an adjacent building from 15 to 21 stories. The new plan, which still requires approval from Mayor Sadiq Khan, will bring 426 new homes to the market.

Luxury Residential Skyscraper Gets Boost From Loan

A US$226-million loan has given a boost to developer Damac International for Damac Tower or Aykon London One, a 50-story luxury residential tower designed by Kohn Pedersen Fox (KPF) in the Nine Elms district near Battersea Power Station, the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat reported, citing Architects’ Journal. With the façade approaching the 20th floor this past spring, the Jenga-like tower is slated for completion in 2021. It will contain 450 homes with interiors inspired by fashion designer Versace. Describing the financing as “a vote of confidence in the U.K. and Damac’s track record,” Damac Chairman Hussain Sajwani said the developer is seeking further investment opportunities in London.

EFESME Manifesto a Call to Action

On May 17, the European Federation for Elevator Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (EFESME) released “Manifesto EFESME 2019-2024 — 5 Proposals to Grow Together,” a document drafted to bring attention to and action on the needs of elevator SMEs as the 2019 European elections loomed.

The document describes commitments EFESME intends to make over the five-year period and lays out the path it intends to follow when working with the new European Commission (EC) and Parliament to promote the work of SMEs in the lift sector. It also notes five ideals EFESME will pursue with EC leaders during the period:

  1. A more entrepreneurial society
  2. More appropriate and SME-friendly standards
  3. A true implementation of the European Single Market
  4. Safer and higher-qualified personnel
  5. Support for digitalization

Brussels-based EFESME said the manifesto “is intended to be a declaration of both political and practical intents.” It enumerates numerous actions to be taken toward attaining the five ideals. More information can be found at www.efesme.org/press-release-manifesto-efesme-2019-2014.

U.K.-Based KAPOK 88 Gains a Distributor in Estonia

Long Bennington, U.K.-based KAPOK 88, which provides custom and modular protective drapes for elevators, has gained its seventh distributor: Adduco OÜ of Tallinn, Estonia. Adduco became an official KAPOK 88 distributor after receiving positive feedback from private and corporate customers. Richard B. Annable, managing director of KAPOK 88, said:

“The Adduco team is forward-thinking and committed, and this has led to their becoming the second-largest removal company in Estonia, with ambition to continue their growth domestically and internationally. Becoming a KAPOK 88 distributor adds real value to their brand and, I hope, will contribute to their goal of becoming number one.”

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Elevator World | July 2019 Cover