Was the remarkable colour change of David Chipperfield’s Elizabeth House redevelopment – from black to gold – engineered to reflect the Christmas spirit, or to charm UNESCO’s bigwigs on a recent capital visit?
Following a launch in July, Chipperfield’s 25-storey scheme – featuring a ‘monumental’ steel bridging structure (pictured) – mysteriously changed colour without official explanation.
The 140,000m2 Waterloo office scheme is rumoured to have raised eyebrows at UNESCO over possible encroachment on views from the Palace of Westminster.
One source close to the project suggested: ‘UNESCO isn’t happy at all’. He added: ‘The size of the site and bulk required to make [Elizabeth House] viable makes it impossible to find a meeting of minds. Surely it’s going to end in public inquiry.’
Another newer design was to be revealed on Monday, but a notice on the website now proclaims the project will not be unwrapped until the new year.