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Architectural quality will be the first requirement of any tall building in the capital if it is to survive the planning process, according to London mayor Ken Livingstone. Livingstone this week called on commercial developers to 'employ the best architects' and he warned that he 'will not support major planning applications which do not embody this approach'. Livingstone also threw his weight behind the plans for the Foster & Partners-designed Swiss Re 'gherkin' building, which is currently being considered by deputy prime minister John Prescott.

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