Somewhere x Able Partners x WSP

We joined forces with UK-based architecture practice, Able Partners, and engineers, WSP, to exercise our creative muscles and reimagine one of the capital’s most prominent buildings 

The announcement that BT Tower is set to be transformed into a hotel – following a £275m deal with MCR Hotels – prompted us to share a collaboration project we’ve been working on behind the scenes. 

Together with architecture practice, Able Partners, in an exercise designed to stretch our creative muscles, we’ve been reimagining this iconic structure using AI. 

During a workshop at our studio, we explored a series of conceptual ideas on Midjourney, eventually creating a suite of CGIs centred on Able’s idea for the structure to be transformed into a public viewing platform.

Speaking on the concepts, Bill Webb, co-founder and director at Able Partners, writes: “Our ideas begin with a safe but exciting route up the structure for those ‘Instagram moments’.

“This provides plenty of opportunity to maximise the views up its 177m height. From co-working, office, and hotel spaces – the possibilities are endless. 

“A series of indoor and outdoor galleries would provide 360 views of the London skyline via raked seating, along with a restaurant space – adding a new spot to the capital’s ‘must-see’ sights.” 

Following the announcement of the deal, our teams were delighted to hear that the much-loved structure will soon be given a brand-new lease of life. 

Creatively repurposing and reimagining under-used – or completely unused – buildings across the UK in a bid to responsibly managing embodied carbon was one of the driving forces behind this creative project. 

Touching on the importance of repurposing, Bill continues: “We all know the important role the built environment has to play in a more sustainable world. 

“Most of the buildings that will make a difference to meeting net zero already exist, but the solution isn’t to simply knock down old buildings and start afresh. 

“Not only would this need a great deal of consideration and management when it comes to embodied carbon, it creates a great deal of work that isn’t necessary.

“Lots of buildings hold potential as varied as the BT Tower within them, and it’s all about unlocking what works into the future for an owner or occupier. 

“Not only this, but the UK’s buildings – especially older ones – have a great deal of heritage and often hold a place in people’s hearts.”

Reimagining BT Tower was purely a creative exercise – something that both our teams at Somewhere and at Able Partners are passionate about. 

Bill comments: “Many architects focus on simply producing their client work, but a great deal of enjoyment lies in an architectural challenge – even one outside of client work.

“Dedicating time to designing simply to design is a fantastic creative development opportunity for architects, and one we focus on here at Able.”

And we share the same values at Somewhere – where we encourage our artists to playfully explore personal projects, alongside client work, to feed their passions, and in turn, constantly learn new skills to improve their creative work.

Above: Somewhere x Able Partners workshop at the studio

AI was a big part of this project. If you’d like to learn more about how we’re utilising the power of AI click here to start our latest blog series, or email Somewhere senior client director [email protected] to learn more about our AI workshops.

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