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Old December 5th, 2012, 06:57 PM   #10481
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Bowater - I firmly believe that all population of London could easily fit inside the Inner London territory if land was more wisely used in London. Then it would be completely different game for London transport, don't you think?
So you cram everyone into inner London.

You still need Thameslink for the through passengers travelling from all the towns north (Bedford) of London, to towns in the south (Brighton).

You still need Crossrail to increase capacity in central London, the only new track that Crossrail delivers will be firmly in central London (Paddington to Stratford, and Canary Wharf).

And just because people are crammed in on top of each other will not remove the need for expansion at Heathrow to allow people to travel abroad.
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Old December 5th, 2012, 07:08 PM   #10482
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Well said.

Besides which, I don't want to be crammed.

London's character is unique. It isn't Manhattan. It isn't Hong Kong. It isn't Dubai. It isn't Shanghai.

It looks and works just fine as it is. It is one of the greatest cities in the world. Because of its diversity. It would no longer be so if it underwent a dramatic facelift, just so that it could look like an identikit of a growing Asian city.

Why does Maxakoff want to homogenise megalopoli?
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Old December 5th, 2012, 07:36 PM   #10483
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No, but if you cram everyone in Inner London, then you save tens of miles worth of rails to begin with, don't dig holes down to Morden, Cockfosters and Edgware and when you need to increase capacity you build crossrail from Canary Wharf to Paddington without all this digging to Royal Oak, Royal Dock and so on.

I understand the idea of turning London into Manhattan is painful for some, but what other options do we have? Shall we continue to build 1,2 stories from sea to sea? And the reality is that many if not most of 1,2 stories in London are not these nice buildings with nice gardens and beautiful trees which tourist see on Chelsea and Ken photos. Take a stroll down Whitechapel, Newham, Kentish Town, Kings Cross, Archway etc. That's what is scaring the shit out of me, not Dubai and Shanghai.
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Old December 5th, 2012, 08:24 PM   #10484
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No, but if you cram everyone in Inner London, then you save tens of miles worth of rails to begin with, don't dig holes down to Morden, Cockfosters and Edgware and when you need to increase capacity you build crossrail from Canary Wharf to Paddington without all this digging to Royal Oak, Royal Dock and so on.
Almost all those tube lines were built when labour was cheap, pre-war. So it was cheap infrastructure for cheap homes. And now it's there why not keep it?

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Originally Posted by Maxakoff View Post
I understand the idea of turning London into Manhattan is painful for some, but what other options do we have? Shall we continue to build 1,2 stories from sea to sea? And the reality is that many if not most of 1,2 stories in London are not these nice buildings with nice gardens and beautiful trees which tourist see on Chelsea and Ken photos. Take a stroll down Whitechapel, Newham, Kentish Town, Kings Cross, Archway etc. That's what is scaring the shit out of me, not Dubai and Shanghai.
Well if we built four,five or six storey terraces and mansion houses like the Victorians did in places like Sloane Square, Harley Street, etc. there would be no problem. Now rebuild all of built London to a similar density and spec and you have a city that can handle millions more people.

We don't need to become Manhattan, we have at least one other option (and many more).
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Old December 5th, 2012, 09:08 PM   #10485
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Langur, I already told you that this does not cut it. You use thameslink, crossrail, heathrow and high-speed as examples of how ambitious and 21century London's building construction is? I mean, seriously, man, pull another leg. And the need for all these projects which my taxes pay for, comes from horrendous mistakes in London planning and construction populating it with 1,2 storey buildings for tens of miles.

I told you about dozens or so skyscrapers being built in Dubai. I can tell you dozens and dozens more in Shanghai, NYC, Chicago, HK. You term most of them tacky and tasteless which is a bit hypocritical and rich given the slim offerings we have in London. Shard is ok (by no means spectacular as it will lose hands-down against the top buildings of HK, NYC, Dubai and Shanghai), Leadenhall is atrocious IMHO and WT is ok. What else, may I ask you? NOTHING. 1 Commercial St, Alie St, St Georges. You would not even notice projects like that in the cities I mentioned. I cannot think of anything else worth mentioning. Maybe Providence tower, but again it is too small. That's pretty much it. For a megapolis of 8 million. So, excuse me, I will be taking your criticism with a big pinch of salt. Especially after you called Kings Cross "handsome". You really need to have the balls of an elephant to criticize any of Dubai's new developments after that.
King's Cross is a handsome example of C19th architecture. It has recently been restored, the ugly 1970s forecourt is being pulled down to create new public space, and the futuristic new ticket hall is wonderful. Its neighbour, St Pancras (they share the same Tube stop), is the grandest and most magnificent railway station in the world. Its architectural value is greater than the entire city of Jakarta.

If you dislike London's low density suburbs, then you're going to hate Dubai. It's pretty obvious you've never been there. It's generally a very low-density city. The developments are strung along a single large road and are literally miles apart with huge stretches of functional concrete low-rise buildings inbetween. There is no urban feel to Dubai whatsover. There's nowhere in Dubai that feels like a big busy city centre like London.

I'd said enough about the unbelievebly naff and vulgar bad taste tackiness of all but a handful of Dubai's big projects. The architecture is incredibly ugly, and if you can't see that than you're an architectural philistine with not even a modicum of architectural taste or discernment.

I've forgotten more about Hong Kong (7x visits since 1996) and Shanghai (5x visits since 2004, + my wife is Shanghainese) than you'll ever know. The only skyscraper in Hong Kong that matches the Shard is the 25-year-old Bank of China (though an honourable mention to the once cutting-edge HSBC, and the graceful 2IFC). The rest are wholly inferior. Hong Kong's entire architectural reputation amounts to little more than a dozen buildings compared to hundreds of great buildings in London.

Most of Shanghai's sksycrapers are cheap and nasty green glass McShite as posted a couple of pages back. Construction quality is so poor that entire high-rise blocks have toppled over. Huge sink holes open up in the ground near constrction sites. Their brand new metro crashed. Buildings that I saw under construction on earlier visits already look dilapidated and run down. And the only Shanghai skyscraper in the same league as the Shard is the SWFC, and even that fails at ground level. (I would have said "street level", but Pudong doesn't do "streets" at all - atrocious urban planning.)

None of New York's recent skyscrapers are as good as the Shard, and the only ones that run it close are the Bank of America Tower and the New York Times Tower (also by Renzo Piano).

None of Chicago's recent skyscrapers are as good as the Shard.

122 Leadenhall is the best skyscraper by Richard Rogers, whom I consider to be the world's finest living architect (honourable mentions to Foster, Piano, and Calatrava).
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Old December 5th, 2012, 09:14 PM   #10486
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I understand the idea of turning London into Manhattan is painful for some, but what other options do we have?
Well, we could limit inward migration each year to balance outward migration.

By limiting the annual immigration to just(!) 350,000 people a year (the size of a substantial city, and the annual emigration rate), we could stabilise the population and not need to build endlessly until we're all squeezed together like sardines.

There. That wasn't hard, was it?

Here's a helpful gizmo which shows the migration rates since the 60s:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/ukne...1964-2011.html
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Old December 5th, 2012, 09:17 PM   #10487
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Langur - that was an epic post.

(I also now know who did the NYTimes building. Unfortunately I'm not a fan!)
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Old December 5th, 2012, 09:43 PM   #10488
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Well, we could limit inward migration each year to balance outward migration.

By limiting the annual immigration to just(!) 350,000 people a year (the size of a substantial city, and the annual emigration rate), we could stabilise the population and not need to build endlessly until we're all squeezed together like sardines.

There. That wasn't hard, was it?

Here's a helpful gizmo which shows the migration rates since the 60s:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/ukne...1964-2011.html
What about domestic immigration to London?
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Old December 5th, 2012, 10:00 PM   #10489
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Langur - don't you think what you say about other cities' projects is very opinionated? None of other cities projects are as good as Shard?! Burj Khalifa, Shanghai Tower, WTC, HK's ICC, 2IFC, NYC's 1 and 2 WTC are inferior to Shard?! And wait a second, are you also saying they are infererior to ...Leadenhall?! Well, I don't want to be rude, let's just say I respectfully disagree.

And again, instead of going on about McShite everywhere except London tell us about ambitious London projects that show how 21century London is (don't use Shard, Leadenhall and 20FS because I told you they are not on par with the leading buildings in other cities mentioned above and we have to agree to disagree on that). I was fair so I was not using Burj Khalifa etc in my examples of Dubai projects and I listed about a dozen of them. So, what in London? Thank you.
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Old December 5th, 2012, 10:02 PM   #10490
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maxakoff View Post
Langur - don't you think what you say about other cities' projects is very opinionated? None of other cities projects are as good as Shard?! Burj Khalifa, Shanghai Tower, WTC, HK's ICC, 2IFC, NYC's 1 and 2 WTC are inferior to Shard?! And wait a second, are you also saying they are infererior to ...Leadenhall?! Well, I don't want to be rude, let's just say I respectfully disagree.

And again, instead of going on about McShite everywhere except London tell us about ambitious London projects that show how 21century London is (don't use Shard, Leadenhall and 20FS because I told you they are not on par with the leading buildings in other cities mentioned above and we have to agree to disagree on that). I was fair so I was not using Burj Khalifa etc in my examples of Dubai projects and I listed about a dozen of them. So, what in London? Thank you.
Even if these other cities have better skyscrapers what does it matter? Manhattan has many, many more skyscrapers than the city but as financial centres the two are neck and neck so clearly skyscrapers don't count for much.
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Old December 5th, 2012, 10:04 PM   #10491
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cnapan View Post
Well, we could limit inward migration each year to balance outward migration.

By limiting the annual immigration to just(!) 350,000 people a year (the size of a substantial city, and the annual emigration rate), we could stabilise the population and not need to build endlessly until we're all squeezed together like sardines.

There. That wasn't hard, was it?

Here's a helpful gizmo which shows the migration rates since the 60s:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/ukne...1964-2011.html
Are you sure the incoming migration will be the biggest contributor to the rise of London's population in the years to come? I'm not.

Last edited by Maxakoff; December 5th, 2012 at 10:16 PM.
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Old December 5th, 2012, 11:12 PM   #10492
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What's wrong with 122Leadenhall?
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Old December 5th, 2012, 11:47 PM   #10493
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What an utterly pointless debate. London is not a skyscraper city - it is a city with a modest handful of tall(ish) buildings. Skyscrapers are not what defines it, as they do for NY, Chigago, Dudai .... Some of our tall buildings have some merit, others do not, just as with any other city. This whole 'best in the world argument is subject and usually laced with other agendas. I for one already like Leadenhall and have expressed my disappointment with the Shard, which is not, for me, as special as I had hoped. No matter it is just part of Londons evolution and ongoing reinvention. Our History has made this city what it is and will shape it's future. It is pointless to create these city v city debates (IMO).
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Old December 6th, 2012, 01:33 AM   #10494
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Well said randolph. The whole debate smacks of tribalist willy-waving
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Old December 6th, 2012, 09:02 AM   #10495
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Are you sure the incoming migration will be the biggest contributor to the rise of London's population in the years to come? I'm not.
Well that's a good point. The capital's always been a magnet for people from across the country, like any capital city. But the stresses and costs of London have also been a repulsive factor, like with any capital city. London's been around for about 2000 years, yet the other parts of the UK show no sign of becoming depopulated as a result of its presence, so my feeling is that although there might be small adjustments, the long term trend would be that the population distribution would remain roughly the same as it has for centuries.
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Old December 6th, 2012, 09:07 AM   #10496
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Well said randolph. The whole debate smacks of tribalist willy-waving
It really matters to some people that Russia now has the biggest skyscraper in Europe, but to most people I think it's utterly irrelevant. They'd much rather prefer affordable, nice places to live, work and play. That doesn't exclude tall buildings, but it should exclude crap ones.
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Old December 6th, 2012, 12:43 PM   #10497
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Langur - don't you think what you say about other cities' projects is very opinionated? None of other cities projects are as good as Shard?! Burj Khalifa, Shanghai Tower, WTC, HK's ICC, 2IFC, NYC's 1 and 2 WTC are inferior to Shard?! And wait a second, are you also saying they are infererior to ...Leadenhall?! Well, I don't want to be rude, let's just say I respectfully disagree.
Sure it's my opinion, but I'm in the good company of the architectural profession. You measure the value of architecture in terms of metres, which puts you in company with all the other brainless moron kids that too often make SSC so depressingly unintelligent.

I'd give the Shard and 122 Leadenhall 10/10. They're the best skyscrapers by two of the world's greatest living architects. None of the other buildings you list are designed by great architects, and it shows in the relative lack of subtlety and elegance of their designs. (Exception of 2WTC which is still unfunded and uncertain.)
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And again, instead of going on about McShite everywhere except London tell us about ambitious London projects that show how 21century London is (don't use Shard, Leadenhall and 20FS because I told you they are not on par with the leading buildings in other cities mentioned above and we have to agree to disagree on that). I was fair so I was not using Burj Khalifa etc in my examples of Dubai projects and I listed about a dozen of them. So, what in London? Thank you.
If I gave the Shard and 122 Leadenhall the maximum 10/10, and the others in your list would all get positive scores (ranging from 9/10 for SWFC to 5/10 for 1WTC), I'd give negative scores for the Dubai buildings you listed earlier, because ugly buildings have a negative visual impact on the city. Indeed ugly skyscrapers are especially offensive because they impose their ugliness for miles around. Grading such garbage is a bit like grading the seven shades of shit, but we can start with Al Yaqoub at -10 as one of the ugliest skyscrapers in all history. Most of rest would score below -5 as well.

As for London, I already listed the large scale projects of architectural quality on a previous page, so no need to repeat. Incidentally I hate 20 Fenchurch Street because it's a graceless dumpy stump of a thing. It has a negative impact on London, so would get a negative score from me. However I like its public access and cladding quality.
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Old December 6th, 2012, 01:04 PM   #10498
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Langur - that was an epic post.

(I also now know who did the NYTimes building. Unfortunately I'm not a fan!)
I'm glad you enjoyed my riposte, but what a shame you don't appreciate the New York Times building. It's gorgeous! Piano makes his towers light as a feather. They're raised up off the ground and seem to float. He accentuates the verticals by hollowing out the corners. He lightens the facade and gives it depth with the horizontal metal rails. (The medievals used the same technique to lighten the massive solidity of their cathedral walls: they draped over a filigree tracery of permeable gothic arches.) The metal on the facade also catches the evening and morning light and makes the building shimmer in a way that blank glass walls never do. (We have the same with 1 Canada Square and Tower 42.) And finally the tower melts into the sky with translucent glass blades extending into the sky. This is the same technique he used on the Shard and on his wonderful Tjibao Cultural Centre in New Caledonia. The effect of all of this is to make the building light, elegant, and graceful. He succeeds wonderfully. It's the best recent tower in New York methinks, though I was also impressed by the Bank of America Tower, and have a guilty enjoyment of Trump World Tower's slender proportions and Miesien minimalism.
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Old December 6th, 2012, 01:56 PM   #10499
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No, but if you cram everyone in Inner London, then you save tens of miles worth of rails to begin with, don't dig holes down to Morden, Cockfosters and Edgware and when you need to increase capacity you build crossrail from Canary Wharf to Paddington without all this digging to Royal Oak, Royal Dock and so on.

I understand the idea of turning London into Manhattan is painful for some, but what other options do we have? Shall we continue to build 1,2 stories from sea to sea? And the reality is that many if not most of 1,2 stories in London are not these nice buildings with nice gardens and beautiful trees which tourist see on Chelsea and Ken photos. Take a stroll down Whitechapel, Newham, Kentish Town, Kings Cross, Archway etc. That's what is scaring the shit out of me, not Dubai and Shanghai.
The problem with all the above is that you've provided supply without considering demand; out of 8 million Londoners, who would - given the choice - prefer to live in a semi-d and who would prefer to live in high-rise apartments? Sure you can build 30-40 HK-esque residential blocks in inner London, but I bet not many would want to live in one. High-rise living might be 'hip' and 'trendy' with some young bohemes or whatever, but the tastes and preferences of the rest of London is a little more diverse than that.
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Old December 6th, 2012, 04:45 PM   #10500
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I'm glad you enjoyed my riposte, but what a shame you don't appreciate the New York Times building. It's gorgeous! Piano makes his towers light as a feather. They're raised up off the ground and seem to float. He accentuates the verticals by hollowing out the corners. He lightens the facade and gives it depth with the horizontal metal rails. (The medievals used the same technique to lighten the massive solidity of their cathedral walls: they draped over a filigree tracery of permeable gothic arches.) The metal on the facade also catches the evening and morning light and makes the building shimmer in a way that blank glass walls never do. (We have the same with 1 Canada Square and Tower 42.) And finally the tower melts into the sky with translucent glass blades extending into the sky. This is the same technique he used on the Shard and on his wonderful Tjibao Cultural Centre in New Caledonia. The effect of all of this is to make the building light, elegant, and graceful. He succeeds wonderfully. It's the best recent tower in New York methinks, though I was also impressed by the Bank of America Tower, and have a guilty enjoyment of Trump World Tower's slender proportions and Miesien minimalism.
Except that, on the Shard, its top looks awful and unfinished, IMO. The building's one great flaw.

But let's not get into a debate about other skyscrapers. This thread is better dormant if it's not going to be about the Pinnacle.
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