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5 Merchant Square

Mossessian & Partners

Michel Mossessian’s architecture applies a deep understanding of culture and urbanity, technology and sustainability. As Design Director of SOM in London he led building projects in the UK, Europe and the Middle East culminating in his winning design for the new NATO headquarters in Brussels. Since setting up his own practice in 2005 he has won projects in London, Shanghai and Doha, and been shortlisted for competitions in Congo-Brazzaville, Abu Dhabi and Riyadh in Saudi Arabia. His agenda is multifaceted, encompassing his desire for architecture to communicate meaning and dialogue with context, a word that he does not baulk at when bringing a sense of public space to post-industrial or other kinds of unformed urban environments.
Paddington Basin in West London lies between London’s West End and Heathrow Airport and is one of Europe’s largest regeneration projects, a near 186,000 sq m site of future offices, homes, shops and leisure facilities. Originally opened in 1801, the 400 metre long Basin provided a link from London to the rest of the country via the Grand Union Canal. In the past its identity was run down and neglected, but now the district is being given a makeover. Clients European Land have already completed an initial phase with The Point designed by Terry Farrell and Waterside by Richard Rogers and Paddington Walk by Munkenbeck & Marshall, as well as numerous exceptional new bridges including Thomas Heatherwick’s Rolling Bridge and Helix Bridge by Buro Happold. This February permission was granted to building a 42 storey circular tower - the Cucumber - to be significantly taller than St Paul’s Cathedral - by Robin Partington Architects.
The Cucumber - vying to be west London’s “Gherkin” (Foster’s SwissRe tower in the City of London) - will no doubt add boost the iconic power of this gigantic site still lacking in street life, but equally what matters if the place is to evolve as a viable piece of London is the quality of public spaces...

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