Unsupported browser

For a better experience please update your browser to its latest version.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

London authority building grabs wrong headlines . . .

  • Comment
news

The quest to procure a headquarters building for the new Greater London Authority was back on track this week - following a bizarre withdrawal and reinstatement of one of the two rival proposals. The developer behind Will Alsop's Victoria House scheme on Bloomsbury Square, Malory Clifford, pulled out of the competition a week ago, citing a 'public and unjust' intervention by English Heritage chairman Sir Jocelyn Stevens as the main reason, along with 'other circumstances surrounding the decision-making process'.

Sir Jocelyn had roundly criticised the Alsop proposals as being in breach of government conservation guidelines, in a very public statement of support for the rival proposal by Sir Norman Foster on the south bank of the Thames, close to Tower Bridge. Clifford said the views of eh were 'completely at odds' with those of the Royal Fine Art Commission, and suggested that eh's London Advisory Committee did not share the 'intransigent views' expressed.

Following two days of frenetic phone calls involving London minister Nick Raynsford, rfac chairman Lord St John of Fawsley and the developer, Clifford announced on Monday that his company, Blackfriars Investment Trust, was back in the race, following assurances about the status of the English Heritage comments and the way the rival schemes would be assessed. Raynsford has made it clear that his request for Blackfriars to re-enter is no guarantee of success, but that the decision-making process will be scrupulously even-handed. Blackfriars had also received encouragement to re-submit from Camden Council, within which the Bloomsbury building and square lie.

English Heritage reacted to events by re-releasing its now notorious press notice praising Foster and attacking Alsop, with a further comment from Sir Jocelyn repeating the stance of the organisation, and saying that eh commissioners (which include no architect) were in support of the notice.

  • Comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions.

Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.

Related Jobs

AJ Jobs