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Old November 7th, 2011, 09:14 PM   #801
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Originally Posted by Loyalist. View Post
Very disappointing comments by Peter Rees:


City tells Boris – ‘no more Shards please’
Posted on October 28, 2011 by louise
The Corporation of London has included critical remarks about the impact of the Shard at London Bridge, in its official response to mayor Boris Johnson’s London View Management Framework.
“One of the questions we have asked of the mayor is how the Shard came to be allowed,” said planning director Peter Rees. “We want to ensure this isn’t a precedent.”

Rees explained that the viewing corridors which under previous mayor Ken Livingstone had been narrowed were now “like a concertina” being widened by the current mayor.

The City’s interest in the proposals is two-fold, not only judging them as planning authority, but also as the owner of Hampstead Heath, one of the key viewing points.

The corporation’s response to the LVMF is mainly supportive of the latest changes, which notably include the widening of a protected silhouette around the white tower of the Tower of London; maintenance of the existing protected vistas of St Paul’s; and a new protected silhouette from Parliament Square to the Palace of Westminster.

Where the corporation is less happy, is with the Shard and there is a call for updated photographs and guidance. The response notes: “At present, it is hard to appreciate fully the dramatic impact that the Shard development is having on many London views” including the view from Hampstead Heath south, where the Shard has a significant impact.

“The reference to the Shard providing a strong orientation point in the Parliament Hill view should not be used to justify other tall buildings in the background that would diminish the ability to recognise St Paul’s.”

http://greaterlondonpublishing.co.uk...ease%E2%80%99/

Is this the same Peter Rees who is now puzzled how LBT got planning even though it replaced an already tall tower that could be seen in the same view that he now laments about from Hampstead yet allowed the sheer green glass wall of the refurbished Univeler building to utterly ruin the arguably more important view of St Paul's from Waterlooo Bridge?

Full of contradictions sometimes that one. Only last week he said there would be no more towers in the City after this batch because there was an abundance of 80's office stock ripe for refurbishment instead. But hang on didn't he also recently approve the demolition of the exact same 80's blocks so ripe for refurbishment for a brand new monolithic office block at Broadgate.
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Old November 8th, 2011, 02:01 AM   #802
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RANT!

ARGHHHH!! O.K so Britain is a decaying portrait of the past, a museum for the rest of the world to look back on. Today's artists, pioneers, architects, musicians etc are not here, we're just imagining them.

Is there no dialogue when statements like this are made? Viewing corridors, yes please, within reason. I wouldn't want tower blocks or anything for that matter smack bang in front of our landmarks either, but who is he to decide that Piano isn't a worthy architect for our city? How and why is it that these articles crop up with crap like this, a one sided opinion of someone who is criticising and protesting against future developments that aren't even under his jurisdiction. ****, speaking for everyone.

He is paid to protect the history and culture of The City, not to stifle future development and progression. Who decided he should have that position anyway? There must be a way to vote these irrational, self righteous, pompous arseholes in to the history books where they belong. These views held by people like him and the English Heritage bureaucracy are against the grain of everything that has made this city and country what it is today; thinking big, pioneering, progression and development.

Seems to me like a bunch of settled old men are running this city with no passion, drive or concept of where we're heading, only of what once was which they look back to so fondly. I really think we need more qualified and visionary candidates to step forward for important positions such as this because at the moment its almost like a private club for the conservative elite to all agree together with prince ******* Charles. Get some younger blood pumping through the veins of our capital with less of this bollocks because its really starting to get on my nerves!
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Old November 8th, 2011, 12:33 PM   #803
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^ Chill out! Peter Rees has been behind the development of skyscrapers such as the Gherkin, Heron Tower, 122 Leadenhall, Pinnacle, 20 Fenchurch Street, 100 Bishopsgate, Heron Plaza, etc. He's hardly anti-development! As you say, the Shard is beyond the City's jurisdiction, so no one has to listen to him. He's just defending the City's interests. If too many large floorplate buildings get built elsewhere, in Southwark or Canary Wharf, then the City becomes less necessary. Indeed the City fathers may find Southwark more threatening than Canary Wharf given its central location right over one of London's largest transportation hubs.
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Old November 8th, 2011, 01:18 PM   #804
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The City should not be in competition with other areas of London, and certainly should not be lobbying for anti-development policies to be placed against areas of London it sees as a rival. The City should be working in tandem with the rest of London, not against it.
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Old November 8th, 2011, 03:31 PM   #805
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http://www.building.co.uk/epr-submit...027404.article

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Proposed project is opposite London’s famous Old Vic theatre

EPR Architects has submitted a new office building near London’s Old Vic theatre for planning.

The scheme, 150 Waterloo Road, is intended to repair a neglected part of the Lower Marsh conservation area and establish a “more appropriate scale to this prominent corner site,” according to the architect.

The building, which boasts a large retail unit at ground floor level is for client Breanstar Ltd and responds both to the Old Vic opposite and the setting of the listed former fire station next door and has been designed in consultation with Lambeth council planners and local community groups.

A spokeswoman for the practice said: “The office facade is made up from a regular array of large windows with bronze window frames set within a stone surround. On the splayed corner the bronze window frames project to give a more defined vertical emphasis on the corner. An additional stone window mullion is introduced at the upper levels to give a stronger top to the building. The facade on Baylis Road steps down in height to the neighbouring Victorian buildings.”

The historic street Pear Place has been retained and will provide an amenity space for a new affordable residential building at the end of it. The upper floors of the fire station will be converted into apartments for rent.


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Old November 8th, 2011, 04:31 PM   #806
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Is that the site of the bookshop and bizarre William Hill shed-thing? Anything that replaces those is an improvement.
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Old November 9th, 2011, 03:14 PM   #807
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Yes that's the site. The proposal is quite handsome imo. No random cladding, a bit of limestone (or at least reconstituted limestone), nice proportions, clean regular lines, chamfered corner, and a attractive set back upper storey. More like this please...
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Old November 9th, 2011, 03:31 PM   #808
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Originally Posted by i_like_concrete View Post
The City should not be in competition with other areas of London, and certainly should not be lobbying for anti-development policies to be placed against areas of London it sees as a rival. The City should be working in tandem with the rest of London, not against it.
That's true, but the neighbouring boroughs and mayor don't have to listen to him. Rees spearheaded the development of skyscrapers in the City to see off the challenge from Canary Wharf. They spent years patiently assembling and combining plots to make skyscraper development possible. The City always had the advantage of central location, but now even that's being eroded. They are surrounded by development. Across the river there's the Shard, Baby Shard, More London, Bankside 1/2/3, Palestra, etc. On the City's north and eastern fringes are Spitalfield's Bishops Square development, Hammerson's Bishops Place development, and the Bishopsgate Goods Yard. To the west there are major developments in "Midtown". All of these large office developments beyond the City's borders are eroding its value.
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Old November 9th, 2011, 04:08 PM   #809
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That's true, but the neighbouring boroughs and mayor don't have to listen to him. Rees spearheaded the development of skyscrapers in the City to see off the challenge from Canary Wharf. They spent years patiently assembling and combining plots to make skyscraper development possible. The City always had the advantage of central location, but now even that's being eroded. They are surrounded by development. Across the river there's the Shard, Baby Shard, More London, Bankside 1/2/3, Palestra, etc. On the City's north and eastern fringes are Spitalfield's Bishops Square development, Hammerson's Bishops Place development, and the Bishopsgate Goods Yard. To the west there are major developments in "Midtown". All of these large office developments beyond the City's borders are eroding its value.
Interesting points made there, almost a love/hate situation with Rees I have now. I had no idea he had set the precedent for skyscraper development in the City.

I'd be interested to understand what this would mean for London as a whole should the surrounding boroughs decide to compete. Would this be a good or bad thing for London as the world financial capital? I.e. Would this dilute the talent pool of the City or result in an expanded centre retaining its high status?
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Old November 9th, 2011, 04:25 PM   #810
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Surely the City needs to have a relief valve? I dread to think what it would be like if all rival buildings and proposals were only in the Square Mile. Chances are there would be far fewer developments overall and more traditional buildings demolished. It's not a large area afterall if you consider only the strict boundary.

The way I see it due to population and economic growth the City is just getting a smaller slice of a much bigger pie so shouldn't moan. Improvements in other central districts and fringe areas improves London's image and attractiveness as a whole, which attracts talent, investment, etc the City then feeds off.
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Old November 9th, 2011, 06:21 PM   #811
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I'd be interested to understand what this would mean for London as a whole should the surrounding boroughs decide to compete. Would this be a good or bad thing for London as the world financial capital? I.e. Would this dilute the talent pool of the City or result in an expanded centre retaining its high status?
I think the developments outside the City are good for London. Who here doesn't think the Shard is good? I don't see the advantage in concentrating all the development in the City.

I don't think there's much bearing on London's status as a financial centre. So long as banks and other financial firms can get the kind of offices they want, then they'll be happy. If anything they're spoilt for choice now, with good possibilities in the City itself, and elsewhere.
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Old November 9th, 2011, 09:03 PM   #812
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Interesting points made there, almost a love/hate situation with Rees I have now. I had no idea he had set the precedent for skyscraper development in the City.

I'd be interested to understand what this would mean for London as a whole should the surrounding boroughs decide to compete. Would this be a good or bad thing for London as the world financial capital? I.e. Would this dilute the talent pool of the City or result in an expanded centre retaining its high status?

Its also worth noting it was largely him that gave the City honking great groundscrapers and was very anti-tower. Ironically this decision was what, you could argue that saved CW. CW had seen very little development in the 90's and it was the large floor plates in towers that the City was so against that saw a rush of willing tenants.

I would say after this Mr Rees and the Corporation had a change of heart.

Saying that, he has championed modern design in the City and puts somewhere like Westminster to shame with there morbid policies and ideas on design.
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Old November 10th, 2011, 11:58 AM   #813
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It seems Westfield are determined to encircle the West End with there shopping centres I wonder if it will shake the Village green mentality of Westminster. Probably not.

Hammerson have also bought an underperforming mall in Croydon and intend to modernise and revamp it. Between the two they could put Croydon back on the retail map.....................


Westfield turns sights on Croydon as it agrees Nottingham sale to CSC
10 November 2011 | By Kat Baker


Westfield announced last night that it has sold its 75% stake in the Broadmarsh Shopping Centre in Nottingham to Capital Shopping Centres for £55m and has entered into exclusive arrangements with the Whitgift Foundation to redevelop the Whitgift Centre in Croydon.

The deal for the Nottingham mall, which was announced on the Australian stock exchange, is said to have been at a premium to book value but is subject to the pre-emptive rights of Possfund which owns the remaining 25% share of the scheme. Westfield said the sale “reflects an increased emphasis by the group towards investment in larger, iconic centres.”

Steven Lowy, Westfield co-chief executive officer, said: “Today’s announcement is a further step in that direction as we re-direct capital and our management capacity to larger scale development opportunities that we believe will generate better long-term returns for the group.”

Capital Shopping Centres will now own both the dominant shopping centres in Nottingham as it’s portfolio also includes the 981,000 sq ft Victoria Centre.

CSC said in a statement that it is also in discussions with PossFund regarding its intentions for its 25% stake.

Westfield acquired the Broadmarsh shopping centre in 2000 as its first UK purchase. In May the Australian developer secured planning consent for a £500m extension to the scheme, which will almost triple the size of the 451,000 sq ft mall to 1.1m sq ft.

Westfield also announced that, attracted by the continued strength of the London and South East retail markets, it has agreed an exclusive arrangement to work with the Whitgift Foundation to examine opportunities arising from the retail-led regeneration of the Whitgift Centre in Croydon, taking the same approach adopted in the development of both Westfield London and Stratford City.

The Australian developer’s involvement in the Croydon retail development means Westfield will dominate the retail offer on the west, south and east of London.

Westfield said the Croydon scheme, with its strategic location close to Gatwick Airport and with access to affluent populations in Surrey and Kent, has the potential to serve more than three million customers in an area which is currently underserved by high quality retail and leisure facilities.

Westfield’s move appears to indicate an intention by the Australian developer to focus its attention on the resilient south east market, and comes just weeks after it sold a 50% stake its it Bradford development to Meyer Bergman for £120m.

Part of the redevelopment plans for the Whitgift Centre include linking the scheme into the adjacent proposed 1m sq ft Park Place retail development.
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Old November 10th, 2011, 12:12 PM   #814
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Hammerson have also bought an underperforming mall in Croydon and intend to modernise and revamp it.
I wish they'd put a bid in for Elephant and Castle Shopping Centre!
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Old November 10th, 2011, 12:38 PM   #815
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errr no thanks, E&C isnt provincial
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Old November 10th, 2011, 01:53 PM   #816
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errr no thanks, E&C isnt provincial
LoL, so you prefer E+C the way it is? Its a disgrace at the moment and I'd much prefer to see Hammerson work on this disgrace of a shopping centre than simply dismiss them for being too 'provincial' in style.

Have you seen how 'provincial' E+C looks at the moment? I've seen better shopping centres in Barnsley and decaying northern mill towns!

At the end of the day, any improvement would be a bonus lets be honest. Agreed they're hardly the best for the job but surely E+C is a much better opportunity considering its central location and they definitely know how to draw crowds which would boost the area. A mini Bull Ring would go down a treat in this part of London I think (I live here by the way) and something like this may give a bit of momentum for development. Many of my friends in East London regard the new Westfield centre in Stratford as some kind of local renaissance and love their new weekend playground. I personally think the same would work here albeit smaller; bare in mind E+C is considered the 'town centre' for people as far down as Camberwell and Peckham and at the moment its rubbish lol.

Maybe I'm wrong. What's your reasoning behind being so against this idea?

Last edited by worldmayor; November 10th, 2011 at 02:07 PM.
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Old November 10th, 2011, 02:52 PM   #817
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Peter Rees doesn't seem to like tall buildings...:

Tall buildings are not the answer says Peter Rees, but are dirty weekends?

NLA conference, session 3
By Nadia Elghamry on November 9, 2011 11:44 AM | No Comments | No TrackBacks
**Live blogging from the NLA City of London conference, expect typos and grammatical errors**

So we are down to the last session of the day and it is Peter Rees, City Planning Officer, City of London who starts with a joke, at least I think it's a joke but you can never be sure with Rees....

"Here we are on the brink of the worst crisis the world's economy will see in our lifetime. Disaffected youth massing to the west of us ready to march on us and I've been asked to speak on building typologies. Yes quite!"

He runs the rest of the session almost as a stand-up, with no slides, no back-up, propped up against the lecturn with a microphone.

"25 years ago in the City, there were some pubs, if you wanted solids you could have a pork pie or a scotch egg at the pub, if you didn't fancy the pub there was choice: the greasy spoon. You could have had a cheese roll or ham roll and even then you had a choice you could have had it with or without tomato. Today we have people bounding over millennium bridge to get into the city at night.

"We've transformed the square mile. But it is not just the tall buildings that make the difference.

"There's only one reason for building tall - it's when you run out of space. Building a tall building in the Elephant & Castle hasn't worked, it's just got a giant shaver on the edge of it now - there's nothing wrong with the Elephant & Castle...well actually there's a lot wrong with Elephant & Castle... that a tall building will solve. Does its tall building help with its problems, does it make anyone shop in the shopping centre or does it make everyone dive into the underground carpark out of the underground and drive off.

"Look at Dubai, they have the world's tallest building but it is still a too hot hell hole. People will look at it in a few centuries in the same way we look at the Pyramids and wonder what it is.Nobody wants to go there for a dirty weekend...

...which brings me on to Frankfurt. I wouldn't go to Frankfurt for a dirty weekend and I told them that when I went there and they asked me about tall buildings - it won't make a bit of difference if it has tall buildings, Frankfurt first needs to be fun - a word they don't understand in German. But they have it in Berlin.

"If you have to build tall then do it in a cluster. That's what we are doing and it has also helped in rebadging the city. It is no good rebadging failure with tall buidlings and that's what most people try and do. They say we'll put up a tall buildings and that will make it better. I don't think we'll see many applications for tall buildings in the City what we are faced with now the inheritance of what we achieved late 80s early 90s.

The spaces around buildings - I think these are enormously important. It's in the alleyways and streets that people will bump into each other and gossip and gossip is the lifeblood of the City. Places attract people.

"For the next decade you are refurbishing and refitting what we've got."

http://www.estatesgazette.com/blogs/...session-3.html
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Old November 10th, 2011, 03:07 PM   #818
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Look how few trees and parks there are in most European city centres! I live in a dense urban area, and I take huge pleasure in my proximity to Hyde Park/Kensington Gardens. Walks among the trees through the changing seasons keep me sane. Indeed the areas around the central London parks are the most desirable in the world if foreign sales and property prices are anything to go by. They must be doing something right!!

I often go out in east London. I love the vibe around Brick Lane, Hoxton, Shoreditch, etc. The nightlife is cool and the restaurants are numerous and good. However the reasons I don't want to move there are...

1) ugly building stock
2) no parks

In the European city centres you highlight, there are virtually no parks anywhere, and the few they do have are tiny. That may boost density, but it also makes them less attractive.

Naples is an ugly and dysopian city in many ways. Yes the pizza's great, and the new metro line is pretty, but it's full of crime, corruption, and is way too shabby and crowded to be pleasant. I'd rather live in the hills around Naples than the city itself.

Athens is really ugly. Sorry but give me a London terrace any day over an apartment in a 8-10 storey concrete block amidst a vast sea of equally unattractive blocks in a generally unattractive city with so little variety or open space.

Madrid is ok, but I've never found it architecturally inspiring. The few monumental buildings it does have are often overblown and not to my taste (eg Madrid Post Office). The residential areas and buildings are not as attractive as London's. Show me any part of Madrid as nice as, say, Kensington.

El Greco, you seem to value a certain level of consistent residential density for the sake of it. Your dream is for miles and miles of regimented and repetitive residential apartment buildings of 6-9 stories. But why stop there? Why only look at European models? Why not go for hyper-density like in Hong Kong? Is ever denser really ever more attractive? I don't think so at all, and imo it's only young singles who are bored of their low-density low-excitement outer suburbs who ever form such an opinion. Imo they should just move somewhere more central.

I personally think there's a happy balance. Cities need urban density, but they also needs trees and garden squares and parks. Suburbs also have their charms. I love the leafy suburban streets right now in Autumn. They're also nicer places to bring up a family. Imo London is actually the ideal of urban density. We have the densest urban district in Europe (the City), the densest and most exciting concentrations of nightlife and entertainment (the West End and now Hoxton/Shoreditch/Brick Lane), the best centrally located parks, the most trees and garden squares, and the most variety and choice in terms of urban landscape and lifestyle. London doesn't impose a choice by sheer monotony. It offers variety allowing you to choose to suit yourself.

I also look at these European cities, and I think they've stagnated and are making bad choices for the future. Cities like Paris, Madrid, and Naples can't/won't build skyscrapers (or much else that's new) except in these awful modernist ghettoes on their outskirts. Skyscrapers will never really become loved and integrated parts of the city so long as they're confined to ghettoes on the fringes of the city. Pure modernist environments such as Canary Wharf, La Defense, Centro Direzionale, Cuatro Torres, etc, leave me cold. They're dry and charmless. Meanwhile their historic city centres, which are loved and lovable, stagnate into museum cities. I much prefer London's dynamism, variety, and mix.
Hong Kong urbanism is not a bad thing, however skyscrapers (in general), for the most part, are ugly. Indeed even many Londons new talls are not that good - Willis is an ugly stump with a black top, Shards cladding seems to be dull and lifeless (I hope its just dirty) and if certain renders are anything to go by then Bishopsgate will be quite a horror too! I much prefer smaller scale architecture and continental Europe is very, very good at it (UK is too). Cities like Madrid, Barcelona, Paris, Hamburg, even good old Vilnius (shame Zahas Guggenheim is dead), are filled with gems, both big and small, and as such I dont think the tag of "museum" is justified. Besides I dont think skyscrapers are a prerequisite for a successful/exciting city.

Yes I do dream about "miles and miles of regimented and repetitive residential apartment buildings of 6-9 stories", however Im not against suburbs. Every city has them...but please dont have them in city centre/inner city.

Naples - I dont agree with you here, I found it to be a very exciting place filled with incredible architecture, the crime thing is overhyped too - the biggest threat there is to be short-changed. Sure outlaying areas, like Scampia, are dangerous, but then again Peckham and Elephant arent any better either. And yes pizza is indeed good.
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Old November 10th, 2011, 04:21 PM   #819
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Maybe I'm wrong. What's your reasoning behind being so against this idea?
yeah my point was more about the idea of internalised shopping malls, which are the specialities of developers like Westfield being replicated in all urban areas. Elephant & Castle is part of the core of central London and any masterplan should treat is as such. The original agreed masterplan did just this and it is saddening that is being slowly torn apart by developers. Although not entirely surprising giving the weakness of the British planning system in terms of master-planning. The UK planning system was built with nimby negativity in mind, you cant put this sign here, you cant build this extension etc on the most mind boggling levels of detail but is incapable of scaling up from the plot. Which is why regurgitating decrepit shopping centres is attractive to developer and planner as they already exist as a single plot.

Shopping Malls internalise and concentrate retail which is ideal for capturing the retail market of a large sprawling suburb, ie there is not the critical mass or density to support a more anarchic and and less controlled (read monopolised) retail environment.

Re-introducing it to E&C is a dangerous tactic, areas of London that were once important centres but have gone off the radar due to past urban design mistakes, eg urban highways or impenetrable estates as although it is the easy route in terms of finding funding it is likely to prevent the area from positively evolving in its wider environment, which we need E&C to do if it is to join up with the central core of London.
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Old November 10th, 2011, 04:30 PM   #820
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Peter Rees doesn't seem to like tall buildings...:

Tall buildings are not the answer says Peter Rees, but are dirty weekends?
He understands the mistakes of rebranding a city but bizarrely misunderstands tall buildings even though he points out why they exist in the City... "useful when you run out of space". Yeah we all get that.

So therefore we get why they dont work as a city reinvention tool in Dubai and Frankfurt.

So why is he having a go at Elephant and Castle? If he hadnt noticed London has a housing crises. Seems like a perfectly good reason to build tall to me

The clustering of office blocks makes sense as it mirrors the clustering of a clustered industry.

The clustering of residential and mixed use towers makes less sense as a must, apart from appearing around transport nodes, clustering within walking distance maybe?

Clustering as an aesthetic, well he didnt really enlarge on that but history shows us that tall buildings are to be seen far and wide and therefore should be able to stand its own ground.
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