I've just joined this website, and I'm sure this has all been thrashed out before, so forgive me...
An addition to the skyline? That sums up the argument behind those who argue for the glass shard. Such tall buildings, and this one is very, very tall, can only be apprieciated from afar, cf. Canary Wharf Tower - fine at 3 miles distant, with that oh-so-whacky pyramid on top, but dating a bit now; soulless, looming and damned windy close up. My objection is that the shard is SO tall and SO out of scale with any surrounding structure that it will dominate (in the worst sense of the word) the whole area. You won't be able not to see it, and I think we should have that choice. It is an exercise in egotistical intimidation by Sgr. Enzio, and, as we know, an egotist hates competition. All other buildings in the area, past OR future, especially future, will be in the shadow (often literally) of this colossal office building. And remember it IS just an office building. Unless anyone is proposing that all future buildings are constructed to the same height.
There is a sensible way of regenerating the area and a short-term-fix way. This is the latter. The pro-shard argument runs something like this: why aren't people investing in London Bridge/Borough (they are, but we have to maintain the fiction that its a neglected area to justify this argument)? Because it's dowdy, depressing, old-fashioned, backward-looking, etc. (Didn't stop the posters on this site in favour of the shard coming here, but never mind.) How, therefore, can we stop its being so old-fashioned, stuck in c.19th, etc.? Answer: build a huge "iconic" statement of our belief in the future. A self-consciously early c. 21st structure. That'll show 'em! The trouble is, one building will not regenerate the area. Never has done. To return to the Canary Wharf Tower example - that has created a besuited enclave for City boys, but has not brought any real regeneration (as was promised) to the surrounding area. Hands up who pops over there for a drink on a Saturday night. Anyone?
Regenerating an area requires a more intelligent approach that exploits the resources of an area for the common good, and doesn't rely on the architectural equivalent of a government "initiative". People with money to spend have been relocating here for several years now - it wasn't because of a spurious landmark. It was partly because of relatively lower property prices (which supporters of the shard boast will go through the roof now. Oh great), and also because the Borough and Bermondsey AREN'T the City, aren't dominated by office towers, and do have a bit of period character, which seems to go down well with most of us (are Borough Market and environs quiet at the end of the week?). Sarf of the River has its own character which is determinedly not like its northern cousin. The shard is too much like trying to keep up with the Joneses - "the tallest building in Europe" - as if it's a competition. It all seems rather desperate ('If we don't have this "landmark" right now, it'll consign us to a new Dark Age!').
And it's not as if it's particularly original. It's another plate-glass office building, for goodness' sake. Not a regular cuboid, you say? Well, it's hardly the first office block to try that. The only difference is that it is very, very, very tall. Yes, very.
"You won't be able not to see it, and I think we should have that choice."........simple...don't look at.
Yes, it may well be a VERY tall building but the difference is,it is a VERY tall building worth building.It isn't just an office building.....it is offices,a hotel,2 public viewing galleries and is replacing one very nasty looking office block that does absolutely nothing for the skyline and does absolutely nothing for the surrounding area of St.Thomas Street/Joiner Street.
The area is already extremely windy and the building will help to alleviate the problem by constructing a canopy at the base of the tower covering the immediate surrounding areas,thus making the area a 100 times more user friendly.A new bus station thrown in,improvements to London Bridge Station,improved access to and from the stations and to Guys Hospital.Is that such a bad thing?
As far as property prices go,aren't they already through the roof in this part of town anyway?I think so....
Southwark Council,the Mayor,a huge majority of local residents (myself included) and now the Government are all in favour of it.........Are we all wrong to welcome this building? No, because we have done our homework and can see what a positive impact it will have on us all.Both at a local and London wide level.
It 's not a case of keeping up with the Jones',it's a case of wanting the best on our own doorsteps.
I quite agree, by the time the London Bridge Tower is completed, I'm sure it will have other new tall buildings in close proximity, where one is built others are sure to follow, and London will become the 'Hong Kong' of Europe as it should be.
But being at the bottom of a tower is the pits, literally. By its nature it will be a massive transport interchange to disperse those using the tower and this is not going to add anything to the historic urban grain of London Bridge.- and the more facilities in the tower, the less facilities can survive outside of it. Dark shadowy seedy areas, empty and unused outside of commuting time, - should suit the Wicked Club a treat.
I know it's a bit selfish, but I don't think we need a landmark building to tell people how nice it is here. We know how nice it is here. That's why we live here.
The arguments about regeneration are valid IMO, but I'd really like to see something like a landmark public swimming pool rather than an office block that I'll likely never get the chance to set foot inside.
There's enough of our city that's commercial space. Why does SE1 have to become like that as well? (I reckon that) reasons no one's proposing to build the shard in the City would include: it would be too expensive; the planners would never let anyone build a building like this in such a prestigious part of old-money London. However, it's apparently alright to do it on the other side of the river.
I'll say it again: I am aware that this will sound selfish to some extent, but I don't think it's that unreasonable.
human memory is fickle at best - immediately after 9/11 the last thing anyone would have proposed building near the financial centre of europe would have been the tallest building in europe.
i agree with the reactionary luddite to some extent - it's a tactical developer's ploy to claim that a grand building will help or produce regeneration in an area. it is rarely proven as a single contributing factor after the event. the Baltic mill in gateshead is a good example of this.