'What did they do to public buildings in the 1950s?' This is the cri de coeur of Rosie Boycott, editor of the Express. From her desk in Ludgate House she looks out at the Sainsbury's head office and says, 'It shouldn't be there. And that grey office block near Buckingham Palace, next door to what used to be St George's Hospital, is a travesty of a building. It should be bombed.'
But then she is eager to talk about some 'fantastic buildings' overlooking the Thames: the Globe, St Christopher Wren's house; Bankside, which gives the view of St Paul's that Wren wanted; in the other direction the Wheel.
She feels the Wheel 'redefines the skyline. We all adore it.' Presumably she means her colleagues at the Express. She is clearly passionate about her part of London and finds the mix of old and new exciting, particularly going east towards Canary Wharf.
'Architecture is so important and bad is as expensive to design as good.' Nor does she feel that good is necessarily expensive. Boycott is of the opinion that surroundings affect output, and a newspaper office buzzing with excitement should be surrounded by equally exciting buildings.
Shropshire-born, she finds London 'rich with history' and her favourite building is the new Tate. 'I love its monolithic totalness and the contrast between its exterior and inside.' She finds Covent Garden equally inspiring. 'It's uplifting. It's not elitist and is therefore accessible.'