Less would be More London.

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Saturday 22 April 2006 10.27pm
I don't like those new additions .
They do nothing to integrate in to Tooly street. And to build that faceless wall of steel right next to a park is barbarous.
They also make the terrace on tool street look like it has been retained under sufferance. And not embraced as a welcome addition to the overall concept.

For me the only aspect of more London that works in the layout of the visters.I find it hard to even describe the riverside frontage as architecture. just shelf space for offices .

Interestingly I was Reading that Norman foster is to work on a similar riverside project in Moscow ,only he wont be designing the exteriors of the buildings

Looking at more London its not hard to see why they don't want him to.
Monday 24 April 2006 11.40am
Completely agree about More London - these buildings are banality itself.
Monday 24 April 2006 2.56pm
Agree totally with these comments. More London is such a wasted opportunity architecturally. Nothing is inspiring in these buildings and they really let down the regeneration of this part of London.
Monday 24 April 2006 5.08pm
Couldn't agree more. I suppose the E&Y building has some interesting angles but all of the buildings are basically just great hunks of glass particularly the new ones going up for the law firms which quite frankly lack even a hint of architectural inspiration (from my non-architectural perspective). And as for the Hilton Hotel...
Monday 24 April 2006 5.16pm
I walk home from work through the Tower of London, and every time I walk down the path towards the river I notice how much the view across on the south bank has worsened since they started building the new glass box next to the GLA building. (That's before I wonder when the GLA are going to get their grubby windows cleaned.) Surely they're going to date fairly quickly, which is sad when you think how much they're in the public view - far more so than most of the similar looking buildings in the City, for example.
Monday 24 April 2006 5.39pm
Am I right to think that the new building for Norton Rose will block the views over South London from London's Living Room at the top of City Hall?
Monday 24 April 2006 7.25pm
I'm really sorry that they've put up that building, I used to be able to see the bridge and the Mayor's office from my roof terrace, and now all I can see is the wretched square block. Still, I guess it's the shape of things to come.
Tuesday 25 April 2006 3.33am
Yeah. The original designs for the Norton Rose offices next to the park at least had that facade of the building relieved by balconies and shrubs. We (the Tenants' Association) also managed to secure a condition that there should be a footpath cutting through the building from the southern end of the Park to the middle of the Scoop/Piazza. However, the developers went back to the planning committee and got the condition removed when they submitted the detailed planning permission, and then removed the balconies and slightly more interesting facade. Awful.

It is interesting how long ago, when people wanted to show off what expensive buildings they could afford to live or work in, they employed craftsmen to produce a high standard of fine detailing to enliven the building. It seems to me that these days the rich (companies at least) produce buildings which are boring and anonymous looking to try and ensure that we lose interest in how they get their money. This is what you get when we allow our cities to be built by those looking for the highest return on their investment with no regard for the surroundings or history of the site. Can you see a single architectural or 'public art' reference to the thousands of years of shipping and warehousing on this site? Or to the dock workers and their families?

Readers of this site should be keeping a VERY close eye on the refurbishment of Potters Fields Park to resist any and all attempts by MoreLondon and the GLA to turn it into their back garden. You should be in no doubt that they have been sticking their oar in quite vigourously already.
Tuesday 25 April 2006 8.56am

Not sure I fully agree with the rose-tinted view of how corporate buildings of old were aesthetically better than those produced now. Take the Gherkin, for example. Swiss Re, a company that could very easily have taken the decision to build an anonymous edificace (reinsurance is hardly an industry that conjures up images of bold and striking originality, after all!), actively championed a design that challenged existing notions of skyscraper design.

Personally, I wouldn't really want architectural or public art references to the shipping and warehousing history. Such pieces tend to make the place look like yet another docklands themepark (currently being employed in every single dockland redevelopment in the country, whether it be Manchester, Cardiff, Bristol, Liverpool or Birmingham: they all have architectural "symbols" such as cranes, etc, to remind us of the shipping past... the end result lends quite a tacky air).

I certainly agree with you that we should be vigilant about the refurbishment of Potters Fields Park. We can only keep our fingers crossed, I suppose.

Tuesday 25 April 2006 9.05am
I think (re whether old corp buildings were made with more care and individuality) that you've got to consider that i nthe old days companies were much more likely to hold the freehold to their corporate HQ (and thus be more likely to stay there, more involved in the community, keener to make a lasting good impression, more likely to have input into designs etc).

Nowadays more and more land is owned by large plcs specialising in owning land and leasing space. This means that many (and an increasing number) of co's are just renting for a while in someone else's building.

Buildings are made as plain as possible on the "paint it magnolia because no one HATES it (even if no one actually likes it)" approach. This increases chances of a re-let and leads to the standardisation that we're discussing here.

...if you press it, they will come.
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