KPF to build on top of 1970s tower


South Bank Tower extension

News: architecture firm Kohn Pedersen Fox has submitted plans to add 11 floors on top of an existing 30-storey tower in London. The project engineer claims this would be the first time such an ambitious extension has been attempted.

Architect Kohn Pedersen Fox (KPF) and engineers Adams Kara Taylor (AKT II) have applied to Southwark Council to extend the 111 metre-high King's Reach Tower on London's South Bank by an additional 44 metres.

Approval already exists to add six extra floors but AKT II claimed that extending a legacy tower by a third was a world first: "This has never been done before," founding director Albert Taylor told Building Design.

South Bank Tower
KPF's proposal for South Bank Tower

Southwark planners will meet next Tuesday to consider the plans, which will take the tower to 155 metres.

The 111 metre-high tower, now rebranded as South Bank Tower, was designed by architect Richard Seifert and completed in 1978.


An extensive refurbishment scheme to convert the building into a mix of retail, office and residential spaces was approved in October 2011 and will include 173 luxury apartments from floor 11 upwards.

South Bank Tower proposal
Visual showing the original tower, the approved extension and the upcoming application

The extended tower would form part of a new cluster of tall buildings on the southern bank of the River Thames, which includes the newly completed Shard by Renzo Piano and the forthcoming One Blackfriars by Ian Simpson Architects.

Richard Siefert's original King's Reach Tower plans

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  • zizi

    Richard Seifert polluted London with his overized buildings. Now the right thing to do, you would guess, should be to erase those buildings, not to EXTEND them!

  • Robiati

    Given that I work marooned behind a Richard Seifert building that is way overbuilt for its site I would tend to agree that his buildings were oversized.

    But this extension makes sense to me. It isn’t the height of Seifert’s buildings that normally bothers me so much as the overbuilding of the footprint, which led to routine fatal consequences for pedestrians in the case of Centre Point for example.

    It is reasonable to question adding volume to any Seifert building. But this looks like a good scheme to me. I don’t see any issues with the additional 11 floors.