Sorry Yuri: Rocket-Shaped Tower Planned for London Is Rejected

Video Source: Gagarin Square in London, from RED

A plan to build a London residential tower inspired by the engineering supporting Yuri Gagarin’s 1961 space flight proved less successful than the Russian cosmonaut’s mission.

The 30-story project, which would have included nine homes and a theater, was rejected late Tuesday after a vote by the Southwark council members. The apartments would have been about 268 square meters (2,885 square feet) each, about three times the size of the average home in the U.K., the council said in a filing.

“The proposed tower, standing at over 105 meters in height, would appear as an incongruous, isolated and alien feature,” planning officials told council members before the vote. “It makes no positive contribution to the surrounding public landscape and the site is not an appropriate location for a tall building.”

Home values in Southwark have gained 7.1 percent in the 12 months through August compared with 1.7 percent for central London’s best homes, according to data compiled by the Land Registry and broker Knight Frank LLP. Developers have been building towers near the south bank of the River Thames because of the district’s appeal to overseas buyers.

An undisclosed Russian consortium owns the site, Estates Gazette reported in January. An e-mail sent to the project’s website wasn’t immediately answered.

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