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Whatever happened to... Make's 'Concertina'?

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Astragal’s occasional series revisits Make’s proposed office block at Monument

The plan: A curvaceous glass-clad office block, wrapped around the newly renovated Monument to the Great Fire of London. Lauded by CABE but unpopular with English Heritage, which worried that its ‘overly assertive’ nine-storey bulk would detract from the 61m monument, built to commemorate the 1666 Great Fire of London.

Signs of life: US private equity group Carlyle Group bought the 11-15 Monument Street site in 2006. Make’s plans were approved the following November.

What happened next: It seems the Concertina may have fallen victim to its own Great Fire. Reports suggest Carlyle is about to default on the £17 million-loan it took out to buy the site, leaving Make’s designs on the drawing board. It might be a crafty move, given the lender is the now-defunct Lehman Brothers, and in light of the moribund market for office space. ‘The scheme is not a viable option in the current market,’ Carlyle Group’s head of European real estate admitted recently. ‘We hope we can take it forward when the market is a bit more normal.’

And Astragal’s highly scientific ‘will it ever get built’ rating?: 40 per cent. Don’t hold your breath.

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