In a speech to mark the opening of the London Festival of Architecture (LFA) last night (19 June) Johnson said he hoped to work closely with the Labour peer, who will join a small panel of ‘up and coming’ architects.
Former Tory MP Johnson has yet to publish his London Plan, but gave hints to what Londoners could expect in the next four years, including ‘urban hills’ and ‘beaches on the Thames’.
Johnson said: ‘I have spoken to Richard Rogers and asked him to help me realise my vision for London. I hope to recruit a small additional panel of up-and-coming architects to work with Design for London.’
Director of Design for London Peter Bishop told the AJ that Johnson had asked Rogers to work with him only in the last week, but the two have yet to hold a meeting.
‘We are still working out how to form the panel, but it is believed Boris wants to appoint one or two more architects,’ he said.
‘I will rewrite the terms of the London Development Agency framework panel, but it will be similar in that the architects will meet four to six times a year, and will have access to Boris once or twice a year. But some of the details are yet to be decided.’
The AJ understands that Terry Farrell has had no communication with Johnson, and this could be the final nail in the coffin for any plans of Farrell becoming London’s next design tsar, as had been speculated. However, when pushed on a possible Farrell appointment Johnson said ‘watch this space’.
Addressing the 1,200-strong audience at the LFA opening, Johnson said: ‘I will build a long-term vision for housing. Where are the traditional features that yuppies of the future will be spending their money to restore?
‘We need a vision for the Thames Gateway. We cannot build a dormitory settlement, we need infrastructure and employment.’
He added: ‘And let us use the 24 million m3 of soil to be excavated for Crossrail build urban hills.’