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CABE tells Stockwell Street scheme to be more 'quirky'

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A CABE design review criticising a £25 million mixed-use scheme as 'wallpaper' rather than distinct and modern has been welcomed by the designer, BWCP Architects.

CABE said the Stockwell Street scheme in south London's Greenwich was trying too hard to be unobtrusive. 'We feel the architecture is in danger of becoming wallpaper rather than a distinctive piece of contemporary design.'

The project includes 130 flats, 4,700m 2of shops and restaurants and 4,000m 2of offices around a small piazza. The four main buildings are due to start on the World Heritage Site near a railway line next year and take two years to finish.

CABE said the architects were trying to create a 'simple architecture', but that the site 'could take an unequivocally modern and distinctive building'.

However, the watchdog believed the urban-design analysis resulted in a credible proposal.

Brian Waters, principal at BWCP Architects, said he felt good about the report because of its support for the scheme's urban design analysis.

'They felt we were being a little polite and it could be more quirky and gutsy.

'CABE thinks we need to be more assertive on the treatment of the buildings. My reaction is that we as architects don't need much encouragement but we need a little support because there were a lot of voices in the consultation such as a local group, who wrote to the council saying they liked it but didn't want to see too much of it.'

Greenwich planners are due to make a decision on the project in the summer, he said.

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