Dezeen Magazine

Heliport Heights by Will Alsop

Will Alsop's Heliport Heights skyscraper set to be built in London

A 20-storey-high tower designed by the late Will Alsop, at his studio All Design, is set to be constructed beside the River Thames in London and is likely to become the architect's last major project in the city.

Heliport Heights will contain 15 floors of apartments, raised on stilts above an existing five-storey building named Heliport House.

It will be clad in irregularly shaped panels of weathering steel, intended to create a "warm, rusty appearance", and will feature round windows and colourful balconies.

Alsop's studio All Design was granted planning permission to build the residential tower in 2014, next to London's Heliport in Battersea. However construction of the building was delayed due to financing problems, with the project's developer Damsonetti UK entering administration in 2017.

Financing is now being arranged and the stalled project is due to begin on site "in the next few months," said Maxine Pringle, associate director at All Design.

Heliport Heights by Will Alsop
Heliport Heights will be clad in irregularly shaped panels of weathering steel, intended to create a "warm, rusty appearance"

The slim, tapered tower will contain 14 apartments – one per floor, plus a penthouse occupying the two upper levels.

The design incorporate some of Alsop's characteristic flourishes. Like two of his best-known projects, the Sharp Centre for the Ontario College of Art & Design (OCAD) and the Stirling Prize winning Peckham Library, the building is raised above the ground on stilts.

Other features include a mirrored conference pod, which will also be raised up on stilts.

Heliport Heights by Will Alsop
The project will also feature a mirrored conference pod raised up on stilts

Beneath the tower, the four-storey office building will be retained and refurbished as part of the project.

"The design of Heliport Heights follows Will's Design philosophy to 'knock nothing down – the same thinking that OCAD was designed with," Pringle told Dezeen.

"Both buildings avoid knocking the existing buildings beneath them down and instead lift their new extensions up off the ground on stilts," she continued.

"This not only reduces site waste and leaves a much-loved existing building, but it also provides an interesting and unusual design aesthetic."

British architect Will Alsop was regarded as "one of architecture's biggest characters and talents". He passed away on 12 May 2018, aged 70.

Along with the Peckham Library and OCAD he left a legacy of  colourful and interesting buildings across Europe and North America.

Earlier this year it was announced that a shopping centre in Nairobi, Kenya, would become his first and only project realised in Africa.