Chinese developers break ground on UK's tallest residential building

Updated: 2016-09-06 22:04


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Chinese developers break ground on UK's tallest residential building

An artist's impression of the 235-meter Spire London residential project from Greenland Group. [Photo/China Daily]

Chinese residential developer Greenland Group has started work on Western Europe's tallest residential building, Spire London, which will become part of the capital's skyline by 2020.

Standing 235 meters and costing 800 million pounds ($1.07 billion), Spire London will be the third-tallest building in the nation, behind office towers The Shard (310 meters) and One Canada Square (236 meters). The tallest residential building in the UK is London's Vauxhall Tower (181 meters).

Chinese developers break ground on UK's tallest residential building

Zhang Yuliang, chairman of Greenland Group

Shanghai-listed Greenland has already begun aboveground demolition work at the site in London Docklands, which is on the West India Quay waterfront adjacent to the Canary Wharf financial hub. The project's public launch will take place on Oct 13.

"Spire London will create a new iconic landmark on the London skyline," said Zhang Yuliang, chairman of Greenland Group. "This tower will be Western Europe's tallest residential building, and underlines London's enduring status as a world-class city and destination. This is Greenland Group's most important project in Europe and will deliver exceptional new homes for Londoners."

The project will comprise 861 apartments, of which 765 will be for private sale at prices starting at 595,000 pounds.

With a global portfolio of property and other assets worth 53 billion pounds, Greenland Group operates in four continents and is a world leader in developing high-rise residential buildings.

The company has built or is constructing four of the 10 tallest buildings in the world, including the Wuhan Greenland Center, which at 636 meters will become the second-tallest in the world behind Dubai's Burj Khalifa (830 meters).

"This important launch reflects the confidence that Greenland Group continues to have in both the London economy and the London property market," said Qian Wenhao, managing director of Greenland Investment, UK.

Spire London was designed by architects Larry Malcic and Christopher Colosimo of US architectural firm HoK, the company behind Vietnam's tallest building, the 350-meter Keangnam Hanoi Landmark Tower. HoK has worked on a number of buildings in Canary Wharf, including Barclays World Headquarters.

Spire London's design is inspired by the nautical history of the docklands and by the orchid, a flower strongly linked to Chinese art and culture.

"We designed and sited the building so that it would take advantage of the views," Malcic said."The eastern 'petal' of the building is designed almost like the prow of a ship going into the West India Quay. The gentle curves of the facade reflect the lapping water, and the three-petal design is developed on the concept of an orchid with its petals opening up."