L T SPARKS
EH and DC Cabe consulted on joint guidance12 months ago...so why the delay? In fairness, this HE Advice Note is not narrowly heritage focussed; it identifies some advantages of tall buildings in the right places and advocates the identification of such locations in local plans. Nevertheless, with so many tall building proposals around, it is urgently needed to highlight the damage they can cause to historic places and to guide imminent decisions. Unfortunately guidance often gets ignored by powerful decision makers, as when the execrable 20 Fenchurch Street was approved. The cover photograph on the Advice Note, showing it in conjunction with Tower Bridge, just about says it all.
Typically, the AJ relates the guidance exclusively to London, but of course it is relevant to all our great cities.
Cabe's Crossrail Design Review Panel was highly critical of the previous scheme for its size and design; Westminster disregarded our views. This revised proposal is even bigger! In my view, the massing is crude and quite unworthy of such a favoured location on Hanover Square. It does a huge disservice to Crossrail by association.
Les Sparks (former chair of Cabe's Crossrail DRP)
Well said, Mr President. If only better judgement had been applied in London we might not have had the stupid 'Walkie Talkie' building spoiling views from the South Bank.
Comment on: Obituary: Philip Dowson (1924 – 2014)
Here in Birmingham, Dowson developed an industrialised building method for new laboratories at the university, based on a three-dimensional geometry of multiple grids.
In a paper to the RIBA in February 1966 he reflected on "the richness and variety of space that can be created within the strict geometrical disciplines that are the reflection of an industrialised method".
He went on to warn that "although [industrialisation] is compelling us the whole time to learn a new language of methods, even an exceptional command of a language does not necessarily imply the possession of any valuable ideas to express".
Another illustration of his belief that architecture is a combination of art and science.
As I recall, the City has been rather less concerned about impacts on views of St Pauls whenever high buildings have been proposed in the Square Mile!