Won in international competition in 1999, Stanton Williams’ brief at Tower Hill was to rationalise the area to the west of the Tower and to provide new facilities for visitors. Completed in 2004 at a cost of £14.5 million, the new Tower Hill Square is a significant and award-winning piece of urban placemaking.
Previously inaccessible and somewhat incoherent in its uncoordinated accretions, the area has been reworked as an uncluttered pedestrian promenade that slopes gently down to the river and gives due prominence to the Tower itself. Along its western edge, visitor facilities are located in two new pavilions whose colonnades recall historic precedent. Their transparency and rectilinear architectural language are continued in an extension to Salvin’s Pumphouse, a Victorian building which now houses the shop.Throughout, high-quality paving and building materials add to the richness of the new square. The results are as much about ‘place’ as space, and the steps which link the promenade to the moat are an especially lively area which has successfully been used for theatre, with the Tower itself as backdrop.
The cool simplicity of the completed scheme belies the complexity of the project which involved reconciling the rich archaeological and historic significance of the site with access legislation and the interests of the multiple groups involved.
Status: completion 2004
Client: Historic Royal Palaces
Project Manager: Historic Royal Palaces
Cost Consultant: Gardiner & Theobald
Structural Engineers: Arup
Services Engineers: Arup
Landscape Consultant: Churchman Landscape Architects
Main Contractor: Kier Wallis
Lighting Designer: LAPD
2006 Finalist, VI European Prize for Urban Public Space
2006 Natural Stone Landscaping Award
2005 RIBA London and English Heritage Award for a Building in an Historic Context
2005 Royal Fine Arts Trust Building of the Year Award – Creating a Beautiful Space
2005 RIBA London Urban Space by Design Award
2005 RIBA London Building of the Year
2005 RIBA National Award
2005 Structural Steel Design Award
2005 The Green Apple Award for the Built Environment
2005 IStructE Structural Heritage Award
2004 Highly commended in Europa Nostra Awards