City of London conservationists have criticised a 10-storey Crossrail overstation development at Liverpool Street designed by Eric Parry Architects
The practice submitted plans earlier this year to demolish the 1980s One Liverpool Street building and replace it with a modern office block.
But City Heritage Society chairman Peter Luscombe said he ‘had a problem’ with the structure’s proposed height, which was exacerbated by the scheme’s tapered top three storeys.
The proposal, backed by Aviva, which this week signed a deal with Transport for London to bring the scheme forward, would create 10 floors of office space above ground floor retail units and a triple basement. Terraces and recessed balconies feature at the upper levels.
One Liverpool Street sits in a small pocket between three conservation areas – Liverpool Street, Finsbury Circus and New Broad Street. The Eric Parry scheme would also use the plot of 11-12 Blomfield Street, which is within the New Broad Street conservation zone.
Luscombe said in a formal consultation response: ‘We have some reservations about the height of the proposed building where it abuts the existing buildings on Liverpool Street […] we find that the proposed treatment of the three-storey mansard exacerbates this problem.
‘The lower seven storeys respect the scale of the surrounding existing buildings and reflect the hierarchy of their window proportions but the large openings and the curious wavy pattern of the three-storey mansard appear out of all proportion to the lower floors and draw attention to the 10-storey height of the building, rather than alleviating it.’
Following a meeting in June, the separate City of London Conservation Area advisory committee added: ’[While] there was no objection in principle […] there was serious concern regarding the design of the top three floors, where the dormers appeared out of place with the remainder of the building and, given the prominence, particularly from Finsbury Circus, it was felt this design should be revisited.’
Eric Parry Architects said in planning documents: ‘Taking inspiration from the existing buildings at the east end of Liverpool Street, a triple-height mansard is proposed. This gives additional presence to the corner, helping to contain a strong and robust civic façade below.
’The expressive mansard with dormers is within a long tradition of roofscapes within this area.’
No committee date has yet been set for the application.
Aviva and Eric Parry Architects have been contacted for comment.