Architect beats off competition from Ian Simpson and Atkins for tallest building in Stratford

Architect Allies and Morrison is to design a 55-storey tower in Stratford, east London.

The tower will be built outside the £4bn Stratford City masterplan and will be taller than any other building in the 180-acre development.

The residential, retail and hotel scheme, for developer Unex Group, will be built opposite the regional Stratford transport interchange, a focal point for the regeneration of Stratford and the 2012 Olympic Games.

Allies beat off competition from Atkins’ London design team and architect Ian Simpson, among others, to win the commission.

Although an engineer has yet to be appointed for the scheme, Davis Langdon has completed its initial costing and Newham council and the Greater London Assembly have backed the plan.

Unex Group, a small developer in Newmarket, Cambridgeshire, has owned the site since the mid-1990s. This development will be the largest it has undertaken in its 30-year life.

Adrian Morris, a surveyor with the firm, said: “We don’t normally get involved in residential schemes – we usually do offices.”

The scheme is highly prized because of its proximity to Stratford city. Australian client Westfield owns 100% of Stratford City, which will be the site of the Olympic Village, after it bought the Reuben brothers’ 50% stake and Stanhope’s 25% share for £140m last month.

London & Continental Railways, which controls the site, and Westfield have placed a tender notice in the Official Journal of the European Union for a construction partner.

Westfield has committed to building the first phase of Stratford City, including a shopping centre and 1140 houses.