New designs for the Beetham Tower in Blackfriars Road have been revealed. The skyscraper - if approved - will have 51 storeys instead of the 68 floors first proposed.
The Dubai-based Jumeirah Group have signed an agreement with Beetham Organization to create The Jumeirah Hotel at Beetham Tower, a new £600 million tower on the corner of Blackfriars Road and Stamford Street described by its promoters as "a slender curved glass landmark for London".
The tower will stand 180 metres high, with the hotel's planned observation deck sitting 45 metres higher than the London Eye. The initial proposals put forward in 2005 were for a 225-metre tower.
The new tower, designed by Ian Simpson Architects, will also have public facilities including a new plaza wrapping round the base of the tower with cafes and restaurants and access via an express elevator to a five-storey high public viewing gallery at the top of the tower.
"The Jumeirah Hotel at Beetham Tower will provide unmatched luxury for visitors to London and a natural synergy with our plans for the residential apartments at Beetham Tower," says Hugh Frost, chairman of Beetham Organization. "This will be a major new landmark and attraction for London."
The Jumeirah Hotel will be sited in the lower half of Beetham Tower and will have 261 rooms and suites, a ballroom that will accommodate large-scale conference and banqueting events catering for up to 800 people plus a number of smaller meeting venues.
The hotel will have a variety of restaurants and bars and a spa, health and leisure facility that will be located on the 26th and 27th floors of the hotel. The hotel is planned to open in 2011, just in time for the 2012 Olympics.
The residents of the apartments and penthouses above the hotel will enjoy access to the facilities of the Jumeirah hotel.
There will be onsite provision for 32 affordable homes in an adjacent building.
The revised scheme eliminates the overhanging section of the development on the corner of Blackfriars Road and Stamford Street which has been criticised by the Commision for Architecture and the Built Environment (CABE).
The announcement of the new Beetham plans comes in the same week that Great Portland Estates announced that it had submitted a planning application for a 15-storey tower on the east side of Blackfriars Road immediately south of the junction with Southwark Street.