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1 Blackfriars Road [Beetham Tower/Jumeirah Hotel]

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Sunday 31 July 2005 11.30am
I'm sure that various engineering studies, wind tunnel test and design options have been filling the architects practice for months, but until Beetham had a hotel tenant signed up, I suspect that the detailed design for a planning application couldn't have been finished

I think is showing its usual poor editorial standards when it reports
that the tower "already has the support of local Southwark Council"
and their contributor clearly doesn't understand planning when they write:
[Beetham?] "hopes that the proposed 109 affordable homes in a proposed neighbouring building will go some way to showing that it will provide major planning gain..."

Providing a proportion of affordable housing is a statutory requirement under the London plan!
Why do I suspect that the affordable flats will be in a building in permanent shadow from the tower?
Sunday 31 July 2005 10.21pm
I've rattled someone's cage at by my reference to their "poor editorial standards.

To clarify - my concern remains their belief that architect designed towers are inherently "a good thing" which underpins the site's editorial policy and IMHO prejudges news values.

In the case of the current project, if anyone at Southwark Council has said they support it this is irrelevant - the planning committtee is a quasi-judicial body, and has to come to a view on the merits of the scheme without fear or favour.

And BTW - I think that the proposed tower could actually be a better piece of architecture than the previous "look at me" lollipop design by Norman Foster's office. However, I do have some concerns about how the building hits the street, and what it does for the streetscape, as much as the impact on the skyline. I'm not convinced by the precedents of some of Ian Simpson Architects previous buildings - his Urbis centre in central Manchester is a similar crystalline wedge - a fine bit of Miesian purity , but (and not just in IMO) it puts an offputting face to both the existing streets and new open spaces around it, with the main entrance in a less than obvious location.

Their editor(?) also specifically responded :
"unlike the ft we get the borough right, unlike property week we manage to get the height right"

Fair enough - now if they can just work on capital letters in e-mails and postings ; )

Monday 1 August 2005 7.51am


To be fair it is a website devoted to fans of skyscrapers and not an independent news organisation.

By their very nature, they like skyscrapers - you may not agree, but that it your right - they are not obliged to be balanced!

Love them or hate them, I have found the site very useful and well designed when researching proposals around the world.


Monday 1 August 2005 4.34pm
>> I think is showing its usual poor editorial standards

Glad I'm not the only one - it really is a very amateurish site, and I'm astounded that people keep quoting it. Half the content there is basically copied from various forums and other sites, and the rest is rarely true, except occasionally by coincidence.

>> their contributor clearly doesn't understand planning

I know. The planning waters are quite muddy enough without the continued, uninformed speculation that these sorts of people put out.
Monday 1 August 2005 6.57pm

Actually, I was thinking another site, possibly this one


Monday 1 August 2005 7.43pm
i thought i'd enter a few things myself.
firstly youre right rabbie about our editorial position (in a way) though good architecture is better and we dont support towers per se, just look at how we laid into conrans latest effort in sheffield, something that annoyed them intensely.

believe me, id love nothing more than to be able to slag this tower off myself but until ive seen further images i cant. my favourite view in london is from waterloo and i really do worry about the impact of this tower in particular because it will appear so dominating, some people say itll frame the skyline nicely but its large enough to be distracting to the point is almost monopolising the attention of a viewer. i think it could be a better piece of architecture too, i was particularly disappointed given what people who shall not be named had said before i'd seen it about how wonderful it was but its simply good rather than amazing but youll note we didnt praise it either.

there's always the question of information provider or enthusiast? its hard to be an accurate info provider if youre an enthusiast whilst providing the info can remove the enthusiasm. the idea is to straddle both, some editors do this more effectively than others.

you're right that the views of the planning officers are irrelevant to the actual councillors making the decision up to a point. they are relevant in as much as if the councillors ignore those planning officers the developer has a good reason to appeal against a rejection. this is relevant info as a result and to state planning officers support it is no way factually wrong... the author knows this when writing so doesnt bother stating the actual way the planning system works - if we did state the law each time we wrote an article they'd be massive. perhaps an f.a.q somewhere on the site could explain the whole process so we're not appearing to be ignorant, particularly as two of our editors actually work as planning consultants and the third is a final year student in it.

i can also understand why people like paul would think we nick things from other sites however if he bothered to check the editor list of skyscrapernews against the likes of emporis and skyscrapercity and skyscraperpage then he'd realise pretty quick we're not actually nicking anything at all - its the same group of people. one editor is a senior editor on emporis, another on ssp, another editor is one of the founders of ssc and we're widely published in the specialist and national press... we simply decided to combine everything on one site but if you didnt know this you'd definitely think we were plagarising! once we've finished combining you can expect big chunks of the old sites to simply vanish as we delete our old work.

if you can find some untrue things on the site that are factually incorrect (as opposed to opinions/analysis you disagree with) tell us and it'll be corrected. no press is 100% correct, as i said, property week got the height wrong, the financial times got the borough wrong and i guess people listen to us because we're no worse than them. :)

now back to this tower....

Edited 3 times. Last edit at 1 August 2005 8.02pm by gothicform.
Friday 16 September 2005 5.08pm
Popped into the exhibition at London Nautical School. (It is open again tomorrow morning only)

I'm not at all sure that public access to the skydeck and the courtyard cafe between the tower and the new blocks facing Blackfiars Road and Stamford Street are sufficient compensation for having a building oversailing the whole of the current triangle of open space with seasonal planting.

The developers still haven't done a deal with TfL about changing the junction, so you could end up with a noisy, fume filled two-storey high space on the corner with the diagonal filter lane running through it.

The corner block (9 storeys ?) will dwarf the pub opposite, and I'm not sure it is well designed enough designed for such a prominent location.

Some neighbours were expressing concern about how the movements of service vehicles for this development and the reconstruction of IPC could dominate Rennie Street and cause noise nuisance to the flats above.
Saturday 17 September 2005 9.06am
I'd never seen that Norman foster design before its god damned awful.

Friday 30 September 2005 10.21pm
A 70-storey tower block is planned for Blackfriars Road. At 738 feet it will have the highest flats in Britain. As a young perosn of the area i want to find out peoples views of this idea? and wot people think of stamford street turing into a "tower street"?

Edited 1 times. Last edit at 30 September 2005 10.26pm by Jack2005.
Sunday 2 October 2005 10.13pm
Dear Jack, tried to reply to your post but for some odd reason wasn't able to. Strange as I haven't had any trouble with this site before.

Personally I'm dead against a totally out of place 738 foot high tower and really tired of everybody dumping their high density modern monstrosity architecture on us because it's only Bermondsey, land of the poor, and nobody cares. How come they aren't planning anything like like this in Chelsea or Westminister? Need we ask? I don't happen to know anybody who lives round here who is in favour of this or totally behind any of the other developments proposed.
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