Work Starts on Regal House

Another roof box for Regal House

Without wanting to re-open the debate about whether permission should have been granted for knocking down part of Regal House and grafting a new hotel on to the side, it’s now time for the work to begin, kicking off with some refurb work. Depending on your point of view, Regal House is probably the most iconic, ironic or just plain chronic building in the town. There are plenty that would love to see it razed to the ground let alone be expanded with a modern addition. There are others (OK, probably a small minority) who regard it as something of a sixties classic. Perhaps it is, but not in the acid-tinted pop of Sgt Pepper kind of way but more in the style of a raw and uncompromising album track from The Velvet Underground. No doubt, back in the day, the new Regal House was going to pave the way for a brave new future for Twickenham: “It’s like, err, one big office block, man.

Regal House

And, err, it’s got another big block on the side. Far out! And we’re gonna name it after the old cinema.” OK, so perhaps it wasn’t quite like that at all. And now? Well the barriers are up round the Tracy Island jutting-out bit, the skips are on site and the skyline is enhanced by yet another cabin on the roof. Seriously,what goes on in those places? Actually don’t answer, it’s bound to be something more boring than idle speculation might suggest. We just hope that they manage to do the work without demolishing the whole building (ahem, topical). Well, on second thoughts….

2 Comments

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2 responses to “Work Starts on Regal House

  1. My antipathy to the workers on the Travelodge site softened slightly the day I saw a guy in a high-vis vest climb out of the cabin on the tower crane, crawl precariously to the very end, and start twatting the pulley with a blunt instrument. Anyone else spot this? At one point he stood up in a fresh breeze to get more heft, I felt terror just watching. This is what, 100-150 feet up? No safety harness I could see. Risking death for a concrete box of twenty quid a night rooms for rugger buggers? Respect.

  2. jmtwix

    Regal House have submitted a planning application to refurbish the whole building. They intend to replace the entrance canopy, add an entrance bridge from London Road to the first floor, and replace all the windows. These changes have some merits, BUT they also plan to repaint Regal House with BRIGHT WHITE flank walls – as if it wasn’t prominent and visible enough in the current blue/grey shade!
    Even on a dull day Regal House sticks up from the skyline like a sore thumb. It needs a sympathetic paint scheme particularly on the massive flank walls. If they were painted mid to dark grey they would be far more discrete and would complement the grey window sections and the two zinc sections of Travelodge (to be constructed this year).
    Additionally, some planting in front of Regal House would soften its harsh appearance from the footpath and consequently improve the street scene. This is consistent with the planned planting in front of Travelodge.
    The application number for Regal House refurbishment is 10/3780/FUL. There are only a few days left to comment on this application and persuade Aviva to revise the paint scheme and add some greenery.
    Save Our Skyline.