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Shardettes/Three Houses/Three Spires [major London Bridge development by Sellar & Herzog & de Meuron]

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Monday 26 January 2009 1.55pm
I think it mainly involves building over the railway lines - with one of the lower floor entrances being through the arches on St Thomas St. Could be wrong though...
Monday 26 January 2009 2.50pm
This seems to be stirring up a good deal of debate and that is to be commended, and I would like to join back into the fray.

I am not a nimby and fully appreciate development to the point where I love tall buildings and have always made the effort to visit (and go up if possible) as many as I could on my travels around the world.

What makes a tall building good is not only its design but also the context of its location. Take Centre Point for example. The tall part of the building is quite nice, but the lower areas (housing and retail/bars) are poor. For all this the problem with the building is its location (although internal design isn't great either) placed on an island, isloated and very much out of context with its surround.

The Three Houses plan also seems to be in danger of problems like this too.

The car parks do indeed need redeveloping and until SC decides what can be built then they will stay car parks as the owners hold out for the most money - development just for its own sake would be a disaster in any project or location.

The argument that The Shard would give it context is misleading and whilst not far away would be encouraging development-creep....before you know it there would be tall buildings all the way down the road to Surrey Quays (OK an exageration but development needs to managed or we will all end up with a complete mess).

Infreastructure for such a a large influx of residents would be hard to manage in an area with very few public services, with the middle parts of the borough being much better serviced and the North allowed to fend for itself.

I will await much more fully detailed proposals (on the basis the the developer normally goes for the nuclear option then scales it back and so gives "relief") but am a firm beliver that these proposals are way over what would be a sensible density for the site, however architecturally comendable the design may be.

And finally the TransAmerica Pyramid in SF is a great building in my eyes but the location is, like financial or office districts in many US cities, a bit of a ghost town outside of office hours and really isn't a very good comparison for this project.
Monday 26 January 2009 3.06pm
urbanite wrote:
The argument that The Shard would give it context is misleading and whilst not far away would be encouraging development-creep....before you know it there would be tall buildings all the way down the road to Surrey Quays (OK an exageration but development needs to managed or we will all end up with a complete mess).

Your comment brings up a really horrible vision of a riverfront congested with skyscrapers, and a question I hadn't considered before: Why do these huge buildings need to be so close to the Thames? Wouldn't it make more sense to put the Shard or the Three Houses somewhere like Elephant and Castle, if they need to be built, rather than near the river?

Quote:
And finally the TransAmerica Pyramid in SF is a great building in my eyes but the location is, like financial or office districts in many US cities, a bit of a ghost town outside of office hours and really isn't a very good comparison for this project.

Obviously we disagree about the beauty of the Pyramid, but you're right. This is also the case in the entire SF downtown and SOMA (South of Market Street) area, which is choked with skyscrapers. As I mentioned in the Shard thread, an area filled with skyscrapers means the people on the street are in the dark shadows almost all day long, plus the wind channelled between the buildings just about blows your hair off your head. It's cold, dark, and windy, and many buildings have no public amenities or storefronts, just big lobbies. Definitely not an enhancement of the urban fabric.
Monday 26 January 2009 4.57pm
I agree with many of your points Urbanite. I also like tall buildings and support the Shard and the proposals for Blackfriar's Rd and the Elephant, but I think this proposal is quite different. The area to the south of the railway is mainly established residential and whilst the towers shouldnt impact too much on the light for the buildings in this area(which would lie south of the towers) I do think the design of the towers and the spaces they create will have to be something special to work with what's already there.

I'll wait to see the designs but I'd be very disappointed if the plans involve demolishing the derelict warehouse just across the road from the car park. I'm amazed this has never been redevloped as it must be one of the only derelict warehouses left in this area.
Tuesday 27 January 2009 12.28pm
As someone who will be directly affected by this and have seen the plans, Im torn between saying hey, thats progress and oh, my house is being pulled down.On the whole I think it will be great for that small area that looks like a bomb site and as for the old leather place {rat infested falling down ] the quicker that goes the better.[That is where the middle tower is meant to be going].But on a happier note housing for key workers ,and if Guys sort their lives out money to invest in some of their buildings only good can come of this as, Im sure it will all be watered down anyway.
Tuesday 27 January 2009 12.32pm
martinr is right that the warehouse on Snowsfields was never redeveloped, but it was in use as a leather wholesaler until 2008, part of the Bermondsey Street area's heritage.

The reason that it looked derelict was that the business owners wanted to keep a low profile so that they could carry on their trade without the attentions of the militant fringe of animal rights agitators.

I think that Sellar now owns the building, but would welcome any more authoritative opinion.
Tuesday 27 January 2009 1.52pm
ceity slicker wrote:
The reason that it looked derelict was that the business owners wanted to keep a low profile so that they could carry on their trade without the attentions of the militant fringe of animal rights agitators.

do they really target leather sellers - what about all the shoe shops



i think if the lower floors of a new development are location friendly - eg shops bars post offices exhibition spaces etc and are nice to walk past - preferably with some green landscaping and as a bonus have public access to roof terraces -

- then i dont think you can realistically say you oppose a building just because its new - you cant stop progress

but i think its fair to say it should also be for the maximum pubic benefit - the more sections of society it caters to on some level the more it would help us all to live harmoniously in this increasingly crowded metropolis



i have a pet theory that they should build all new developments on 20 ft pillars - think of all the space for pedestrians

or what about giving them permission to build two extra floors at the top if the first two stories (apart obviously from the prestigious entrances to the upper floors) are given over to the local authority to rent out or use for the benefit of the local community as they see fit - win win
Wednesday 28 January 2009 1.36am
Oh it's the Skyscraper.com trolls again!

Maybe we should all go and hang out on skyscraper.com and annoy them for a change!
Wednesday 28 January 2009 9.21am
mick4recycle

Most buildings are built on colums...they just put offices or shops under them usually rather than allowing unfettered pedestrian access.

As for the buildings themselves - they would only contribute to the ever increasing overcrowding that you yourself have noted.

Although I do like the idea that planning permissinion could/should come with some sort of public access area....but how long would it be untill this was quietly dropped or forgotten about.
Wednesday 28 January 2009 10.47am
I think that most of the towers at Canary Wharf have essentially "public access" space on their ground floors i.e. before you get past the security barriers and into the lift areas. In other words, anyone can come and go into the lobby areas, although I think if you do anything other than admire the artworks that tend to be displayed there you'll probably be asked to leave. Still, it's better than no access at all.
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