Land Securities, once regarded as culturally highly conservative, is changing its spots. Consider: in 1985 it ran a competition for the revamping of Grand Buildings in Trafalgar Square. Siddell Gibson emerged as winner, producing a design remarkably similar to what already existed. Highly competent, but nothing to set the blood racing.
Fast forward to 2005 and what do we find? Siddell Gibson is now acting as executive architect to Jean Nouvel, Gold Medallist and iconoclast, who has designed a replacement building for a Land Securities block facing St Paul's Cathedral. And jolly good it is too.
Nouvel is working with Norman Foster on Bucklersbury House, while Land Securities is also using the flamboyant Rafael Viñoly on a building in Fenchurch Street. Will wonders never cease?