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Keith Garner

Recent activity

Comments (17)

  • Comment on: Stars among 80 firms vying for new Nine Elms bridge

    Keith Garner's comment 4 February, 2015 3:05 pm

    Unfortunately, the visual above shows that the new Nine Elms, courtesy of Wandsworth Council, the GLA and CABE is not going to be a place you would want to take a footbridge to. Other than the new US Embassy - which does have something about it – the new Nine Elms is a desultory and ugly mess, devoid of any organising idea or concept. Much to the discredit of all involved.

  • Comment on: Stars among 80 firms vying for new Nine Elms bridge

    Keith Garner's comment 4 February, 2015 11:30 am

    Unfortunately, the visual above shows that the new Nine Elms, courtesy of Wandsworth Council, the GLA and CABE is not going to be a place you would want to take a footbridge to. Other than the new US Embassy - which does have something about it – the new Nine Elms is a desultory and ugly mess, devoid of any organising idea or concept. Much to the discredit of all involved.

  • Comment on: BIG to make UK debut with new square at Battersea

    Keith Garner's comment 13 November, 2014 12:12 pm

    Peter Murray asks: “Who can complain about patrons like this, who actively seek out the best architects from around the world?” Well I can for one. The Malaysian consortium that currently owns Battersea Power Station includes a company called Sime Darby. This company is involved in the production of palm oil and has been criticised in two reports by Friends of the Earth for its activities in Malaysia and in Liberia relating to deforestation and displacement of indigenous peoples.

    It has to be asked what would a company with (shall we say) a questionable environmental and humanitarian record really care about a listed building in London? Not much to judge by what is going on down there. The chimneys are currently being demolished on the flimsiest of evidence. (Strange that the south west chimney which is apparently “beyond repair” is taking so long to pull down.) The adjacent listed pumping station c1840 is being demolished as I type.

    And what do get in return for all this destruction? Battersea Power Station sensitively repaired and given an appropriate new lease of life? Errr…. No. It will become a shopping centre with offices and luxury flats above. These last will require rows and rows of windows punched in Scott’s spare brick architecture and superfluous rooftop pavilions spoiling its distinctive silhouette. Not that you will be able to see the building of course, as it disappears behind blocks of flats of truly staggering vulgarity.

    But that’s must me. Lots of big architectural firms are making money out of it, which is the main thing. I suppose it is only a matter of time before the consortium is named “Client of the Year”.


  • Comment on: Gehry and Foster’s Battersea 'high street' approved

    Keith Garner's comment 17 October, 2014 5:56 pm

    Too bad. The harm that these new blocks will do to the setting of Battersea Power Station is clear from the images. It is not just the scale of the new blocks obscuring Battersea Power Station from most viewpoints, but the way that their aggressive architecture overpowers its serene verticality. And for what? More shops and flats and a derisory “community hub”. This scheme is not worth having. Far better to mothball Battersea Power Station for 25 years and just enjoy it as a landmark. Hopefully a future generation will have a better idea of what to do. I’m sure the HLF would oblige with the funding. If only we had a national heritage protection agency of some kind that could step in to protect important listed buildings from crass and insensitive treatment like this. We could call it English Heritage!

  • Comment on: Revealed: first image of Battersea Power Station chimney disassembly

    Keith Garner's comment 20 August, 2014 11:35 am

    Philip Gullet of Battersea Power Station development Company refers to “… years of research and independent reports” that support demolition and rebuilding of the chimneys. This is strange as the only reports that support the demolition option those commissioned and paid for by the previous owners Parkview International and Treasury Holdings, uncritically accepted by English Heritage and Wandsworth Council. The only independent report into this issue was commissioned by the Twentieth Century Society and others in 2005 which said that the case for demolition was not proven and that repair appeared to be a viable option. That report can be seen here: http://www.batterseapowerstation.org.uk/press/press_release_26.09.05.html.

    Legacy programme! Don’t they need to actually build something before they can have a legacy?

    Keith Garner
    keithwgarner@btinternet.com

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