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Twist of Foster not fooling CABE

The controversial Ealing Arcadia scheme is proving you can’t just add a dash of stararchitect to an existing design-team cocktail and make an instant hit.

Developer Glenkerrin had hoped that throwing in a cheeky twist of Norman Foster to the existing mix of HKR Architects and John Pardey would help the huge west London scheme through planning.

However CABE has again ‘slammed’ the project, for 700 flats and 2250 sq m of shops of the railway at Ealing Broadway saying it ‘remained unconvinced by the proposals’ and that the area deserves better.

The design watchdog said the team had done little more than ‘tweak’ the project since the last time it came before the review panel in October 2007 (see AJplus 8.11.07).

The report also says that the new Foster-designed tower, which was an unexpected and belated addition to the development plans (see AJ 16.08.07), had only exposed the ‘frailties of the [original] masterplan’.

Indeed CABE went on to attack the decision to slightly realign Foster’s 40-storey flourishing sprig – aptly dubbed the Leaf – which it claimed had led to ‘greater confusion’ in terms of the ‘relationship between the main development with the central piazza, the station square’ and the skyscraper.

The commission’s other main gripes were that the routes through the site were not clear and that the ‘entire scheme needed to be revisited so that [it] formed a coherent whole in the urban fabric of Ealing.

Neither Foster nor HKR would comment ahead of the 28 February planning application.

It’s going to need more than a screwdriver to fix this bloody Mary……

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