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Architects draw up plans for 'pie in the sky' towers

PUBLISHED: 19:57 03 March 2008 | UPDATED: 13:04 05 October 2010

Towering a mile above London's skyline

Towering a mile above London's skyline

The term mile high isn t just for airplane action anymore. A team of British designers has come up with the idea of living a mile high above the London skyline in a new generation of 'super towers'

By Victoria Huntley

victoria.huntley@archant.co.uk

The term 'mile high' isn't just for airplane action anymore. A team of British designers has come up with the idea of living a mile high above the London skyline in a new generation of 'super tower' buildings.

They have has proposed a mile-high 'eco tower' for East London housing 100,000 people.

Its 500 floors would contain schools, hospitals, shops and pubs, and everything else under the sun.

The designers are the first to admit the scheme is 'in the clouds' and unlikely ever be realized.

But the design does push our thinking forward.

The mile-high tower also illustrates the ecological advantages of 'living tall,' as building up instead of out holds more people in a smaller 'footprint'.

This in turn reduces ecological impacts and the time needed to transport them.

Close-knit living is also a way to rebuild disconnected communities and make life safer through the 'natural surveillance' created by populating areas 24-seven.

The idea was drawn up by the firm of Popularchitecture and intended for Tower Hamlets, comprising a giant skyscraper would be three times taller than anything ever built in London, creating 12 new 'villages' in the sky.

But the firm's founder Tom Teatum does not feel the scheme is that crazy.

"There are developers interested," he says. "In particular they're interested because of minimal land value in relation to accommodation, occupying a scale far beyond anything that currently exists in London.

"The tower would allow the population to expand without significant impact to the architectural fabric on the ground."

At the centre of the structure would be a 'vast internal void' lit by circular openings every 20 storeys.

Each of these 'holes' would be used as either public squares or for specialist activities such as ice skating, botanic gardens or swimming pools.

A nice idea and nice visuals... but it looks like it'll be firmly rooted in our imaginations for the time being.

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