The Greenwich Society said the Spanish architect’s Peninsula Place towers were missing from the plans presented at a consultation event this summer.
Calatrava’s 130,000m² project involves replacing Foster + Partners’ North Greenwich Interchange arrival hall with a towering winter garden, where visitors emerge into a 24m-tall, 152m-long avenue of slender columns supporting a glass canopy.
However, the Greenwich Society said its representatives were told at the consultation that this concept had ’been deemed to be too difficult to build, and its retail space unnecessary’.
A spokeswoman for the society told the AJ: ’We were talking to two or three people from [developer] 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. I hope to see something more practical for local people instead, there is a real need for supermarkets and a post office.’
Heritage body the Twentieth Century Society tried to save Foster’s bus station from demolition but an application to secure Grade II* status for the 1998 building, alongside Alsop, Lyall and Stormer’s related Underground station, was thrown out in 2017.
The Department for Culture, Media and Sport said at the time that while the Foster building had an ’elegant and unusual form’, it was ’reminiscent of the practice’s earlier works’ and ’lacked the innovation exhibited by highly graded buildings of this date and architectural idiom’.
Developer Knight Dragon added at the time that removing the existing station was part of Allies and Morrison’s 2015-approved masterplan ‘long before’ Santiago Calatrava was commissioned to design Peninsula Place.
According to Knight Dragon, the design of a replacement interchange had been developed to anticipate increased passenger demand.
Santiago Calatrava’s office, Foster + Partners and Knight Dragon have all been contacted for comment on the claims by the Greenwich Society.
Calatrava and his towers still appear as a live project on the Greenwich Peninsula website. There is no official indication that Peninsula Place has been altered or dropped.
Source: Ben Blossom