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Astragal: Can Stone’s star presence boost Margate proposals?

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Apart from buckets and spades, it all seems to have gone quiet on the seafront at Margate

Nothing new has been heard about Avanti Architects’ overhaul and extension of the Turner Contemporary or David Chipperfield’s speculative, pro-bono 100-room hostel, which the AJ first reported around this time last year.

Heartening then, if unexpected, that Sharon Stone (yes, that Sharon Stone of Basic Instinct) recently visited the gallery, and tweeted ‘Fantastic photo exhibition at the Turner Museum Margate, England’. 

Initially puzzled, fans quickly responded with gratitude to her for shining the spotlight on humble Margate. Now the gallery has been blessed by Hollywood royalty, visitors are surely set to soar – and, as Astragal sees it, confirms the need for the overhaul and extension plans, smoothing the way for their realisation. Thanks Shazza!  

Jiricna sees her name in marker pen

Eva jiricna

Eva jiricna

Most Londoners are familiar with the service information whiteboards at Tube stations that commonly host a ‘Thought of the Day’ from a sweet TfL employee. Normally, it is something inspiring like ‘Do not wait for a perfect moment. Take a moment and make it perfect’ – which would result in any sane person taking the bus instead of descending to one of the more fiery circles of hell (also known as the Central line in rush hour). 

It came as a pleasant surprise then to see this proudly displayed at Canada Water: ‘Eva Jiřičná #RIBAGOLDMEDAL #PARTW’. Cryptic to most, possibly, but appropriate as Jiřičná designed the Canada Water transport interchange and bus station in 1999 and has been nominated by former AJ editor Christine Murray for – you guessed it – the RIBA Gold medal.

Fears over Calatrava’s Greenwich tower scheme

Calatrava peninsula place

Calatrava peninsula place

Strange murmurings are coming out of south-east London, where questions are being whispered about the viability of none other than Santiago Calatrava’s ‘very solid’ Peninsula Place

Unveiled in early 2017 to the Star Wars theme tune (no, really), the grand chandelier-like glass towers form a flagship element of Knight Dragon’s massive redevelopment of the Greenwich Peninsula. 

Spanish starchitect Calatrava himself told the AJ at the time that his London proposals were ‘very well planned’ and fully costed. Yet here we are two years later and a spokeswoman for neighbourhood body the Greenwich Society reports that she heard something quite different at a recent consultation event – where the Calatrava scheme was reportedly nowhere to be seen. 

‘We were talking to two or three people from Knight Dragon and they said this part of the development was only ever a concept and would be very difficult to build as it was,’ said the spokeswoman.

Knight Dragon had not returned calls as Astragal went to press, but the Calatrava towers were still appearing as a live project on the Greenwich Peninsula website. Tucked in the shadow of the O2 Arena, what emerges here is anyone’s guess.

Judged by his Piers 

Piers and piers

Piers and piers

Poor Piers Taylor. The architect and founder of Invisible Studio was recently stung on the roof of his mouth by a wasp during his early morning run, an experience he described as a ‘fantastically effective way to wake up’. 

As bad as this was, he insists it remains preferable to the experience of being mixed up with brash broadcaster and TV personality Piers Morgan. 

Taylor repeatedly endures online abuse thanks to this confusion and has considered a change of name. ‘Sadly he’s commandeered the name Piers to the point where I even get mail for me addressed to Piers Morgan!’ said Taylor after the latest  Twitter mix-up. 

Jones prepares to tee off

Alan jones t shirt

The hashtag-loving and soon-to-be RIBA president Alan Jones (pictured left) has taken a cue from the institute’s declaration of climate emergency and has the T-shirt to prove it. In reply to Twitter enquiries about its provenance, Jones said twice he had ‘commissioned it from an online UK company’ but did not elaborate further. #FastFashion?



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Readers' comments (1)

  • Eva Jiricna's lucky that her bus station isn't going to be demolished to make space for something cheap and nasty.
    Probably famous last words, in London.

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