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Improving Borough High Street

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Wednesday 17 May 2006 7.52pm
You might want to get in touch with East Architects, who were responsible for the last attempt that Southwark/Cross River Partnership made to improve the townscape of Borough High Street, before TfL's current philistine bosses introduced their abominable gantries and one size fits all approach to street furniture.

Julian Lewis from the practice posted this anecdote on another site regarding a project that is now being built in Acton rather than Borough High Street!

In front of the Post Office in Borough High Street there used to be a flower kiosk. The kiosk was made of wood and was burned down three times. East thought it would be good to make a steel kiosk that would resist burning and improve the way the space worked for the public. Once we had designed the kiosk there were a few obstacles to getting it built. The Post Office planning consultants tried to make it look like a piece of heritage design, the Post Office thought it was too expensive, and then the site was sold to a private owner who didn't want the kiosk even if they were given it free; they were much too busy. Then, in an international travelling exhibition called Space Invaders, a small scale model of the kiosk was used to help explain how complicated architecture can be, and how simple too. Later, it was modelled again to form part of East's proposal to fill the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale with objects that had not been realised in London. The kiosk was becoming famous. And now, having travelled the world, the kiosk is ready to be built in Acton. After managing to persuade the community that it is necessary to have a kiosk to support the local market, finding someone to run it, getting someone to make it, getting someone else to install it, getting someone else to make an electrical connection, and agreeing the right colour to paint it with the conservation officers, it will be ready in August 2005; serving flowers to those who have other things to think about than kiosks.

In case you find the East website tricky to navigate, direct links are:
Wednesday 17 May 2006 8.06pm
To be honest, I don't find that kiosk gob smacking.
Wednesday 17 May 2006 8.14pm
Also I'd Like to get rid of that pathetic spick sculpture by no one London bridge ,what is that anyway,

And I wouldn't describe no one London bridge as a bad building ,but it pisses me off every time I see it ,because its just a massive corporate block.
Wednesday 17 May 2006 9.04pm
mickysalt wrote:
To be honest, I don't find that kiosk gob smacking.

Why does it need to smack your gob?

The design looks wonderfully simple, functional and appropriate. The moral of the story is the lack of vision by corporate bodies that has deprived our locality of something that could have only enhanced it. It's our loss and SE1 has gained another gathering space for street drinkers as a result.
Wednesday 17 May 2006 9.27pm
The truth is the best thing about a flower stall is the flowers .
and any flower stand would be a good idea ,but I take a wide birth around the emperors cloths.
When it comes to the design of it.or any thing for that mater.
Wednesday 17 May 2006 9.35pm
mickysalt wrote:
The truth is the best thing about a flower stall is the flowers .

Exactly, which is why the design appears to work so well.
Wednesday 17 May 2006 10.24pm
mickysalt wrote:
pathetic spick sculpture

What does this mean, Mickysalt?
Thursday 18 May 2006 7.59am
[quote mickysalt]Also I'd Like to get rid of that pathetic spick sculpture

That appears to be a nasty, racist comment. You deserve to be gob smacked and no mistake
Thursday 18 May 2006 9.33am
spike sculpture .
Thursday 18 May 2006 11.14am
I'm astonished that the Post Office planning consultants opted for filth, streams of urine and aggressive drunken beggars in preference to a local flower stall.

Borough High Street has great potential to be a bustling people friendly street. At the moment, I spend all my time negotiating ATM queues, binbags, sleeping drunks and trying not to get run over.

Perhaps the skyscraper will help.
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