New flats proposed at Potters Fields

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Tuesday 30 March 2004 4.56pm
Accept the importance of longevity for commercial tenants but there is just as much poor qualitry commercial space out there as residential - fact. You speak about BH as if you know them - do you - really? Or are you regurgitating a group belief which actually holds little substance?

If the latter proposal is true then why has the proposal not been wholeheartedly thrown out at the very first obstacle? If the suggestion is that Southwark have ulterior motives... welcome to the real world... Money does make the world go around - not culture and not

You are also assuming that next door will not simply sell the freehold at some point and walk... Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow but never say never. Then see how they differ.
Tuesday 30 March 2004 5.17pm
As do you R&M - do you?

First, I do not "know" Berkeley Homes personally but I have seen a selction of their flats and some, admittedly not all, have not stood the test of time well. I do however understand how companies operate and while I accept your point about commercial landlords flogging the freehold on commercial premises the fact of the matter is BH builds to sell as soon as possible. Ergo, no real interest in quality once the flat is driven off the lot as it were. Nor should there be.

Don't think you can have it both ways on corporate raison d'etre.

Not sure what you mean by " thrown out at the first hurdle". Southwark Council have rightly tanked the the BH proposal and implemented a new design brief that says what they want for the site. BH say they wish to appeal so we get the inquiry. BH in a spirit of civic mindedness have said that if the inquiry goes against them they will appeal that decision to the courts. Have also charmingly threatened Southwark Council with a claim for millions in damages.

Are their actions all motivated by the fact they want their "stunning" towers on this important site because of the huge benefit to the public realm? Don't think so.
Tuesday 30 March 2004 5.21pm
R,Shaw said of the proposals:
>"They may not follow the traditional pattern of housing,
>but they follow a strong uncompromising logic"

It was therefore particularly unfortunate that the image chosen by the architects to represent the scheme appears on first glance as "thirty pieces of silver"!!!

Tuesday 30 March 2004 5.33pm

And look what Ian Ritchie said about their proposals for the Royal Opera House at the same site only seven years ago:

" The siting, form and external architecture of this theatre have been influenced by this world heritage site. History, gravitas, stone, the space and light qualities of the riverspace, the spectacular views, night-time illumination of the Tower and Tower Bridge, the park by the river and the tourists appropriation of the riverside park, have all contributed to our conceptual thinking. The auditorium will seat approximately 2,350. "

How apt and I don't disagree with a word they say. Would they have the barefaced cheek to say this about the Thirty Pieces of Silver?

Think this is worth bringing to the attention of Southwark Council in their presentatiion to the inquiry?
Tuesday 30 March 2004 5.44pm
I had been about to add, to be scrupulously fair, that this was a proposal for a "temporary" building and not the architect's view on what the ultimate development density for the site should be. However, I then read this reference:

"Commissioned by the ROH in 1995, this permanent theatre was to be occupied by them between 1997 and 2000 during the temporary closure of Covent Garden."

I can't remember if it was actually going to be built on the park rather than the site of the flats???

For those having difficulty navigating the architect's website

Wednesday 31 March 2004 10.10am
The failure of the theatre project was at the back of my mind when I suggested that a cultural ediface was inappropriate. I remember at the time that the site was considered too far from the west end/southbank entertainment infastructure to be successful as a national theatre. The area has improved - but it's still very quiet compared with the evenings around Covent Garden.

And back on the look of the towers, I'm glad to see it was thirty peices of silver, rather than grey
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