A pair of tower blocks designed by international architect Will Alsop will bring life to a dull part of East Putney. The site is a big triangle trapped between railway lines near the station, home to an ugly Sixties block and little else.
With Putney Place, developer Oracle plans to create 330 new homes plus offices, shops and a colourful landscaped public area designed by artist Bruce McLean that includes trees, fountains and creative lighting. Oracle is already building 950 homes at Canary Wharf.
Alsop’s pair of buildings stand together like a couple of brightly dressed Londoners having a chat.
The taller one, 1 Putney Place, at 25-storeys high, is clad in a mosaic of opaque, clear and colourless glass and has floating “shadow casters” hovering over its surface to make a scintillating effect that will make the big, light building seem to shimmer — a clever way to introduce a sense of lightness.
There will be shops below, offices in the middle and the top floors reserved for 210 flats that range from studios to three-bedroom apartments.
All flats have a “winter garden” —an enclosed, glazed room with opening glass louvres — and the whole building uses passive energy wherever possible — for example putting the living rooms around the outside to maximise light.
Standing beside it, the shorter building, 2 Putney Place, is a 19-storey cylinder dressed in striking black and white stripes. This will contain 120 affordable residential units, that will be run by a housing association. Flats with two or more bedrooms will have a winter garden. There will also be a communal garden on the roof.
Set in a new “civic” space of colourful crossed beams suspended 12 metres above ground, landscaping is designed to improve the area near the station both in terms of enjoyment and safety.
One item that might prove contentious is the plan for only 30 parking spaces on site, and residents will be prevented from applying for parking permits from Wandsworth Council.