Foster and Partners latest revisions to its £250 million Spitalfields scheme in London's East End have failed to appease its critics. CABE's design review committee said it was still worried about crucial elements of the design and called for yet more changes.
The committee welcomed the removal of the controversial sloping eastern elevation (AJ 20/27.12.01). But it said the junction between the new building and the existing market was still 'unresolved' and called for further thought into how the scheme will work at ground level.
CABE also called for a further reduction in the overall size of the building in plan in order to resolve its relationship with the neighbouring market. And it added that the ultimate success of the scheme would depend on the quality of the materials and detailing. 'We urge the local authority to ensure that these are strictly controlled by planning conditions, ' it said.
Meanwhile, the committee applauded HOK's vision for Masshouse as part of its masterplan for Birmingham's Eastside area. It said the removal of the existing Masshouse roadway provided an opportunity to connect Eastside to the city centre and 'remove the collar around the city centre'.
CABE said: 'We believe that the significance of the site, which sits at a crucial node between the city centre, the shopping area and the evolving Eastside masterplan, cannot be overstated; the design solution will require flair if the results hoped for it are to be achieved.'
But it called for the needs of pedestrians to be put before those of vehicles, and urged a greater sensitivity in plans to formalise the landscape of the existing burial grounds.