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Piano defends skyscraper plans

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Renzo Piano has responded hit back at perceptions that high-rise developments create ‘ghettoes for rich people’

Speaking to The Times, the architect hit back at a number of concerns sparked by the unveiling of his designs for a new tower block in Paddington.

Art historian Dan Cruikshank told the paper that tall buildings in the capital have become ‘a monument to greed’.

But Piano said: ‘There’s nothing wrong with making a tall building if it gives back more than it receives from the city.

‘The tower gets a lot — view, location — but it gives back a lot. It gives back to the city what the city most needs: space on the ground. It keeps people living in the city, which is one of the most important things to do.’

The 224 metre Paddington tower would be built on the site of a former Royal mail sorting office in Paddington, creating 200 new homes and a rooftop garden, open to the public.

Piano added that cities face a choice of ‘building up or building out’

‘We have to accept growth will come by increasing the density inside cities. They should grow by implosion not explosion,’ he said.

It has emerged that MSMR, Pringle Richards Sharratt and TP Bennett will also be working on the Paddington project for developer the Sellar Group, with BDP designing the public realm.

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Readers' comments (1)

  • I agree with Renzo Piano, and he is reporting the Le Corbusier idea for the city of Paris of 100 years ago.

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