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 use cookies to personalise your experience; learn more in our Privacy and Cookie Policy. You can opt out of some cookies by adjusting your browser settings; see the cookie policy for details. By using this site, you agree to our use of cookies.

Livingstone touts Renzo Piano to masterplan 'squalid' London district

  • Comment
Ken Livingstone has said that he is 'happy to issue CPOs' (Compulsory Purchase Orders) to ensure that 'Renzo Piano, or another famous architect working in Britain,' leads the redevelopment of the St Giles area of central London.

Speaking at a Greater London Authority press conference yesterday, the Mayor of London described St Giles - which extends from Richard Seifert's iconic Centre Point on New Oxford Street to Covent Garden in the south and Berners Street in the west - as 'squalid' and said that the current owners had a duty to transform it.

Three firms own the majority of property in St Giles and, although Livingstone refused to name them, they are believed to include Manchester-based CIS, Portfolio Holdings and Legal & General.

Livingstone said it was their responsibility to ensure that any revamp of the land was not piecemeal and he threatened to issue CPOs as a last resort: 'No Mayor wants to issue CPOs, but I have made it clear to the owners that I would be more than happy to use my CPO powers.'

During the conference Livingstone singled out Italian superstar Renzo Piano when he said that the development would have to be led by a famous architect.

Piano is currently working up plans for Legal & General's £5.8 million St Giles Court development near Centre Point, and any masterplan for the area would inevitably require his input.

Livingstone was adamant that the area, which he described as 'mediocre, dull and uninspiring', should be made pedestrian-friendly and become one of London's most iconic districts.

'We need to do this now, otherwise it will be our grandchildren, not us, that benefit from the development,' he said.

by Max Thompson

  • 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

Discover architecture career opportunities. Search and apply online for your dream job.
Find out more