How the new BT Tower hotel could look after architects draw up ‘re-imagined’ designs

What could the iconic BT Tower look like after a ?275m transformation?
Able Partners has ‘re-imagined’ what the iconic tower could look like following an eco-friendly transformation. (Picture: Able Partners alongside WSP, Somewhere. agency and Jason Hawkes)

London’s iconic BT Tower has been re-imagined by architects as an eco-friendly, sustainable public space in a £275,000,000 ‘radical’ transformation.

Last week it emerged the 63-year-old 620ft tower was sold to MCR hotels and will be redeveloped into a luxury place to stay in the capital.

The sale has prompted designers from Able Partners to ‘re-imagine’ what the iconic tower could look like following an eco-friendly transformation.

This includes creating a route up the structure for ‘Instagrammable moments’, with a series of indoor and outdoor viewing galleries.

Raked seating and restaurant spaces are also included in the company’s design, which aims to bring as many tourists up the tower as possible.

Able Partners co-founder Bill Webb said: ‘The built environment must take an increasingly important role in providing a more sustainable environment.

‘But for the UK’s most loved and recognised buildings – like the BT Tower – it’s about maintaining that heritage and holding a place in people’s hearts.’ 

Heatherwick Studio has been appointed to lead the new plans for the tower but Able Partners has offered their redesign of the infrastructure.

What could the iconic BT Tower look like after a ?275m transformation?
The designs include a number of viewing galleries (Picture: Able Partners alongside WSP, Somewhere. agency and Jason Hawkes)

What could the iconic BT Tower look like after a ?275m transformation?
Raked seating has also been been included in the design (Picture: Able Partners alongside WSP, Somewhere. agency and Jason Hawkes)

What could the iconic BT Tower look like after a ?275m transformation?
The 63-year-old 620 ft tower has been sold to MCR hotels (Picture: Able Partners alongside WSP, Somewhere. agency and Jason Hawkes)

This includes stripping it of any of its telecoms functions left over from BT’s ownership.

Water systems will also be replaced to help ensure the building lasts ‘well into the future’.

‘To give the building a new lease of life, we leaned into using the building’s unique structure and height, stripping away the telecoms functions that are no longer needed,’ Bill said.

What could the iconic BT Tower look like after a ?275m transformation?
The designs include creating a route up the structure for ‘Instagrammable moments’ (Picture: Able Partners alongside WSP, Somewhere. agency and Jason Hawkes)

‘By replacing them with demountable, modular structures, as well as circular water strategies, our goal was to ensure the circularity of the building well into the future.’

It will take years for the building to be renovated as BT equipment will need to be progressively removed.

But the designer warned against demolishing any part of the structure, as it would require a huge amount of carbon to rebuild and could worsen London’s Co2 levels.

‘Demolishing the structure would be sacrilege, even though its original use is now facing obsolescence,’ Bill said.

Ben Stuart, co-founder and director of Able Partners, said: ‘Our re-imagination of the Tower ensures that the building becomes an accessible community space for locals and tourists to enjoy.

‘The new features have been designed with public ownership in mind – with the existing podium transformed into a mixed use hub for co-working and retail, the tower developed into a vertical park, and the top floors reimagined as indoor and outdoor viewing galleries to take in the skyline.

‘The iconic digital sign is such a fundamental part of the BT Tower, so we wanted to ensure it was kept and re-imagined in its own way.’

Metro.co.uk has contacted Heatherwick Studio for comment

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