By Gavin Davids
Developers start again with designs for former London military base after royal intervention.
State-owned Qatari Diar has announced that a team has been selected to prepare a master plan for the redevelopment of its prestigious Chelsea Barracks project in London.
The real estate developer said that rather than any detailed architectural design, the purpose of the master plan was to create a design framework for the 12.8 acre site, addressing issues such as building use, height, density and site layout, in order to reflect the location of such an important site in central London.
Following submissions from ten shortlisted teams, Dixon Jones with Squire and Partners and Kim Wilkie Associates have been chosen to lead this stage of the project.
The initial submissions from the shortlist were reviewed by a panel of expert evaluators, which included renowned international and local architects and architectural commentators.
Earlier this year, Project Blue, which was set up by the Qatari royal family, pulled out of a planning application for a set of sleek, hi-tech towers designed by Rogers Stirk Harbour on the site after an intervention by the Prince of Wales. Prince Charles complained that the modern design was not in keeping with the architecture in the area.
The company said that no detailed design architects have been appointed yet, as several firms are likely to be involved in working on different phases or elements of the scheme in order to provide the diversity and sustainable quality merited by such an important site.
Ghanim bin Saad Al Saad, the managing director and CEO of Qatari Diar, said: “We have a long term commitment to major investment at this site, in order to create a magnificent and sustainable new neighbourhood, respectful of the traditions, diversity and cultures of the surrounding urban fabric.”
He added: “The master plan process continues the journey of investigation and consultation which has been met with such a positive response over the past few months.”
Chelsea Barracks is among Qatari Diar’s most ambitious projects, which has plans to redevelop the $1.51bn site into a 21st century version of the great London estates of Mayfair and Belgravia.
In November 2008, Qatari Diar bought out its UK based partner, CPC Group, to obtain full control of Chelsea Barracks.
Thank you Qatari Diar for agreeing to re-design this project in a way that respects the architecture and history of that part of London. And well done to HRH Prince Charles for intervening and helping to achieve this change of direction. I believe that his intervention is respected by a large proportion of London's population.