Chris Rogers writes on architecture and visual culture. His first book, The Power of Process – the architecture of Michael Pearson, was published by Black Dog in 2010. Chris has written for The Big Picture Magazine, Little White Lies, The Architects' Journal, Art Quarterly (the magazine of British charity The Art Fund) and Art of England. He has guest-edited the London Architecture Diary and was invited to join the community of digital reviewers linked to the renowned Almeida theatre in north London. In 2011, Chris was engaged by architects Allford Hall Monaghan Morris to write project information packs including that for the Chobham Harris Academy, a new school built in the London 2012 Olympic Park. Chris was commissioned by the Senior District Judge for England & Wales to write A Courthouse in Bow Street to mark the closure, in 2006, of Bow Street magistrates’ court, and reviewed work by internationally-acclaimed artist Richard Walker for his autobiographic book Image and Myth, publi
The brief for the Pentagon was issued on a Thursday; plans and a perspective were ready the following Monday, after what Lieutenant Colonel Hugh J Casey, co-designer of this initial scheme, called – with admirable understatement – ‘a very busy weekend’.
I entirely agree with the thrust of this piece but a few things are worth noting. I don’t think it’s fair to describe the online planning portal as either “labyrinthine” or “complicated”; every single planning authority in the country puts online every document for every application - all you need do is google planning and the name of the council. Yes, you do need to know the site address ideally or the ref number, and know that the design and access statement is a good place to start, but you can then submit an online comment which will be considered. Some councils, including mine, have a registration facility so you are automatically notified of new, local applications but since many of us will also want to know about other places, i.e. where we work, there could usefully be a single site for that. But it’s worth knowing the Corporation of London publishes every new application in summary in the Evening Standard each Tuesday. But maybe you DO need to notice signs the pinned to lampposts near proposed sites, as I do, since whilst it’s arguably a Catch-22, often people simply aren’t interested in planning, even big projects. Trust me, I’ve seen it.
Comment on: Smithsons' Economist HQ up for sale
Er, last time I checked, St James's IS 'central London'?? And 'off load' is a rather silly way of putting it, unless the writer knows something not put into the article.
"there is no visible steel" Apart, presumably, from the metal in the spandrels in the photo?? Not steel maybe but still metal. As for "Sometimes the most obscure places, often without architectural merit, matter to people, for all sorts of emotional or – dare I say it – pyschogeographical reasons, whether they live there or not", that sounds a tad patronising - people like what they know, are familiar with and grew up with, yes, but they also like architecture with a scale that is human and materials that feel natural. And please don't use the old 'no merit' argument; all buildings matters at the grain of a city street. I'd rather retain the facades and build behind.
"all buildings which make a positive contribution to the Conservation Area will be retained" except this would I imagine be the assessment of the expensive, detailed but biassed consultant hired by the client to prepare his heritage statement. City and City-edge planning apps are full of this kind of thing, that tend to give the profession a bad name when you read them,