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Old August 13th, 2013, 01:18 AM   #7641
Loathing
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Most of London is magnitudes better than it was 20 years ago, and that's even more true of 30 or 40 years ago. It's a fantastic city to live in whether you're rich or poor. We have by far the best free museums in the world, as well as beautiful public parks, and extremely walkable and open streets (even in the poshest areas); and a fantastically comprehensive transport network connecting freely the richest areas to the poorest. Almost every borough has expansive council estates right next to multi-million-£ properties. And of course we have the NHS. There is really very little to complain about.

Obviously it is sad to be priced out of the area in which you were born: that's what has happened to me, so I write from experience. But you're fighting an uphill battle against reality if you think that can and should be stopped. It is completely inexorable that a city as successful as London is experiencing rapid increases in property prices.
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Old August 13th, 2013, 01:35 AM   #7642
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Originally Posted by Mr Bricks View Post
The old estates are not socially mixed, partly because they were left to rot and became crime infested holes. Most of these estates were built in the post-war period to replace old slums and to make up for the loss of housing during the war. Hence, most of these places were filled with the poor and later with immigrants, however, we must remember that living conditions still improved massively during this time.

I wholeheartedly agree that they need to be cleaned up, renovated, demolished and rebuilt, however, we must never forget the social aspect of redevelopment and gentrification. Replacements are always posher than the old estates, often with little or not affordable housing, and even when nothing is demolished gentrification occurs. Old working class communities are spruced up and poor people priced out of the area.

"Poor postwar architecture" that happens to house lower middle class and working class Londoners. Again you ignore the social aspect. I am quite astonished that you picked Canary Wharf, as anyone who has any knowledge in urban studies would know that CW is a text book example of a highly problematic urban renewal project. The towers in the city I have no problem with as they are replacing office buildings and not housing. For example the massive redevelopment of Aldgate is very welcome. Nine Elms is problematic in the sense that it does not create that many new homes in relation to the vastness of the area. And somehow I'm imagining the apartments in those towers are not going to be cheap.

If it weren't for the grading system and sight lines a whole lot more would now have been destroyed. However, that doesn't mean that I'm a fan of conservatism or English Heritage. EH are often useless in the way they care for silly sight lines, stand in the way of beautiful buildings like the Shard and failing to protect the heritage that is actually in danger.

Ah the classic argument. Tearing down a city's housing stock every 50 years or so does not equal progress, in many ways it's a sign of indifference and disrespect. Many cities (including my own) have changed massively in the past 20 years without a single old building being lost. I agree with you that London is not a static city and that it is therefore very exciting and interesting, however, this has nothing to do with the recklessness of some the developers in the city. I think London's pulse comes from its people, its history and its diversity.

Re Tower Bridge the same can be said for most grand land mark buildings around Europe, for example St Paul's and the Eiffel Tower-.

Yes, but there are other places in central/inner London. I am not saying that anyone should be able to live in a massive house in Kensington, but the way things are going now in a couple of decades the East End will be just as posh, and the poor and middle class will again have to move.

Historically even the West End had pockets of poverty, sometimes extreme poverty. One of London's most notorious slums, Devil's Acre was located in Westminster but was later replaced with a Peabody estate sharing the fate of many London slums. St Giles and Covent Garden were also once bad areas. If you like to celebrate the "tradition of reinvention" you might want to appreciate the fact that historically London has always been a very socially mixed city and that although conditions in some parts of the city have been appalling great care has been taken to improve the condition of the poor. Since the 1980s this kind of thinking seems to have been lost and replaced with the principles of competition and profit, and this is a global phenomenon.
London is miles better now than it was in the 90s, and even more so from the 80s and 70s. From the era of regression that marked the latter 20th century to where we are now, the difference is extraordinary. It's a city that's constantly changing, and this shouldn't be considered something new or shocking unless you're unfamiliar with the city's past. The point regarding Tower Bridge is not true to the other structures you mentioned as they were not built immediately next to a 1000 year old city-defining edifice, in the manner that Tower Bridge was built next to the Tower of London.

You can't be serious about Nine Elms considering that it's delivering thousands of new homes to an area that currently has none. You also can't be serious about Canary Wharf which is currently London's 2nd financial district, the world headquarters and base of international operations of many companies. You're also speaking as if there's no affordable housing legislation in place.

The housing stock of London is not being torn down every 50 years. You're evidently unaware of the vast swathes of Victorian (and other) housing that exist in the city, or that London's housing stock does not entirely consist of 1960s/1970s concrete estates. Furthermore, the old estates were not socially mixed from the start. They were built to house the same demographic. Heygate Estate was built to house the Elephant & Castle 'slum' dwellers. The Eltham estates were built to house the workers of the riverside barracks. You can't argue that the estates "became" socially homogenous when they were from the start.

The replacements are more socially mixed than the old estates. They are also of better build quality, with better spatial planning and more housing units. If you don't believe that this is true then I won't waste time convincing you, but I recommend that you watch this apt video about the Ferrier Estate and its regeneration:

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Old August 13th, 2013, 01:58 AM   #7643
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Boris Johnson has "rubber stamped" plans for the Ram Brewery site in Wandsworth.

http://www.bdonline.co.uk/news/permi...059005.article

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Old August 13th, 2013, 02:08 AM   #7644
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Great to see this scheme finally move forward.
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Old August 13th, 2013, 02:14 AM   #7645
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The Ram Brewery | Wandsworth SW18

London forum thread: http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=498957

Official website: http://www.therambrewery.com/



Project facts:
  • Project replaces a derelict brewery and disused warehouses
  • Brewery to be restored and renovated
  • 661 new homes
  • 9506m² new retail and commercial space
  • 500 permanent jobs, 266 construction jobs
  • 248 residential parking spaces, +1200 cycle parking spaces
  • Micro brewery and brewery museum

Site at present:

image hosted on flickr

Ram Brewery by stevekeiretsu, on Flickr


Proposals:





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Old August 13th, 2013, 02:45 AM   #7646
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5 Broadgate | City of London EC2

London forum thread: http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=1186395

Official website: http://www.5broadgate.com/



Project facts:
  • New headquarters of UBS
  • Fully occupied in 2016
  • 66,890m² new office space
  • Four trading floors, which can each accommodate 750 traders




Construction update, taken by forumer gravesVpelli:

[img]http://i40.************/2d85r8o.jpg[/img]

[img]http://i39.************/2qdq58p.jpg[/img]
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Old August 13th, 2013, 07:30 AM   #7647
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why do people mind if london is becoming a haven for the rich and if they are gentrifying the council estates it makes for a way prettier city from an architectural perspective
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Old August 13th, 2013, 08:51 AM   #7648
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yes but there are people in London whom are worried that the city will lose it's historical touch
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Old August 13th, 2013, 09:39 AM   #7649
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Those that believe so are not basing their opinion on sensible argument.
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Old August 13th, 2013, 10:28 AM   #7650
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Agar Grove regeneration | Camden NW1

Official website: http://www.camden.gov.uk/agargrove

Architects Hawkins Brown and Mae have been appointed to design the £55m regeneration of the Agar Grove Estate in Camden: Hawkins Brown and Mae appointed on £55m Camden estate job

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Old August 13th, 2013, 10:31 AM   #7651
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SE9, as always - many thanks for the updates.
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Old August 13th, 2013, 11:09 AM   #7652
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This sounds awfully familiar to the discussion Brummies had on the decision to replace the central library. Some wanted it listed. The majority wanted it gone. It was a masterpiece in it's day but lacked any purpose and most importantly bottle-necked the city centre from it's main district. Thankfully it's been replaced and now works are due to start on it's demolition bringing thousands of jobs and a whole new area that 90% of brummies will enjoy using alot more then a run down, rotten library which offered nothing but an eye sore. Changes happen. We live in a fast paced world. Everywhere is the same. What London is getting rid off is nothing that should be saved at all costs and what's being replaced is certainly not forcing divisions within it's communities. These comments are very silly.
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Old August 13th, 2013, 12:24 PM   #7653
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SE9 View Post
London is miles better now than it was in the 90s, and even more so from the 80s and 70s. From the era of regression that marked the latter 20th century to where we are now, the difference is extraordinary. It's a city that's constantly changing, and this shouldn't be considered something new or shocking unless you're unfamiliar with the city's past. The point regarding Tower Bridge is not true to the other structures you mentioned as they were not built immediately next to a 1000 year old city-defining edifice, in the manner that Tower Bridge was built next to the Tower of London.
Well it depends what you mean by better. Certainly London is now cleaner, better looking and more pleasant. But you have to remember that from the 70s to the 90s poverty in London actually increased, and although for the last 15 years inner London (mostly in the west and the centre) has become wealthier many of the suburbs are becoming poorer and falling into deprivation due to population displacement. If you read what I wrote I did talk about London constantly changing, however, this is no excuse to ignore the dark side of the current construction boom.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SE9 View Post
You can't be serious about Nine Elms considering that it's delivering thousands of new homes to an area that currently has none. You also can't be serious about Canary Wharf which is currently London's 2nd financial district, the world headquarters and base of international operations of many companies. You're also speaking as if there's no affordable housing legislation in place.
Regarding Nine Elms, it is great that it's being redeveloped and that new homes are being constructed. I am just pointing out that considering the size of the site 16 000 homes isn't that much, especially as London is facing overcrowding. I won't go in to details on CW but you should look it up. There are some affordable housing legislation is place, but as we all can see not nearly enough.


Quote:
Originally Posted by SE9 View Post
The housing stock of London is not being torn down every 50 years. You're evidently unaware of the vast swathes of Victorian (and other) housing that exist in the city, or that London's housing stock does not entirely consist of 1960s/1970s concrete estates. Furthermore, the old estates were not socially mixed from the start. They were built to house the same demographic. Heygate Estate was built to house the Elephant & Castle 'slum' dwellers. The Eltham estates were built to house the workers of the riverside barracks. You can't argue that the estates "became" socially homogenous when they were from the start.
I don't know about you but some forumers celebrate the fact that the old is being torn down and replaced with the new and call that "progress" which it isn't. I know that London still is an "old city" however at the current rate that could soon be history in some parts of town, especially in The City.

I never said estates were mixed from the start, however, they were far better than the old slums and for a time often thriving multicultural communities. They gradually fell into disrepair.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SE9 View Post
The replacements are more socially mixed than the old estates. They are also of better build quality, with better spatial planning and more housing units. If you don't believe that this is true then I won't waste time convincing you, but I recommend that you watch this apt video about the Ferrier Estate and its regeneration
They are more socially mixed in the sense that there are less poor people, but where do these poor people go? Do they disappear into thin air? No they relocate. From and aesthetic and architectural point of view these new developments are improvements, and I am definitely not saying they are all bad, however, many of them contribute to the continuing gentrification and population displacement. The working class and their ugly homes are being pushed out of the centre.
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Old August 13th, 2013, 12:29 PM   #7654
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joey_122 View Post
why do people mind if london is becoming a haven for the rich and if they are gentrifying the council estates it makes for a way prettier city from an architectural perspective


You should really sort out your priorities.
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Old August 13th, 2013, 12:41 PM   #7655
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Mr Bricks is also betraying ignorance and naivity when he writes that "Canary Wharf is a textbook example of unsuccessful regeneration". It is true that a number of armchair-critic academics have written essays about CW's failure to integrate with the surrounding areas, but those sorts of complaints are patently ridiculous in this context.
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Old August 13th, 2013, 01:16 PM   #7656
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Quote:
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Mr Bricks is also betraying ignorance and naivity when he writes that "Canary Wharf is a textbook example of unsuccessful regeneration".
Thats EXACTLY what I thought... CW is an amazing example of SUCCESSFUL regeneration.

Bricks at the end of the day London is not losing it's architectual heritage. Its developing it further. London NOW has the Ancient, the Old, the New and the ultra Modern - not many cities in the world have this. But London does it in a beautiful way, without disturbing the environment but instead complimenting it.

London's new developments are world class and in a few years become international recognizable landmarks! The Gherkin has become a world renowned landmark, the City skyline ITSELF has become a landmark. The Shard will follow...

I was walking in and around the Square Mile and went to the top of the Monument on Saturday and I cannot help but think that the different styles and ages of architecture in the City just simply works!

Keep in mind that City planners and other protective schemes do not allow skyscrapers to be built just anywhere - people study these potential projects for months, sometimes years in London. I trust that these people know what they are doing.
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Old August 13th, 2013, 01:39 PM   #7657
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While we're on the topic of gentrification, I found this piece on the subject quite interesting...

http://www.economist.com/blogs/bligh...ons-demography
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Old August 13th, 2013, 01:43 PM   #7658
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Yes, sometimes I wish the approval process was much quicker in the UK.

Just a small example, which I think could be relevant. We have a small "pond" basically, a big paddle 2mx2m which the developer on our development wants to fill in to create some green area. As it's next to my house, I have been following the process quite closely as local council seems to be good in following guidelines and they publish all documents related to this application promptly. So back to this "pond", developer submitted application back in January 2013, local council asked for local Parish consent (what they have to do this it it's beyond my understanding), local environment agency consent, some bird society consent, archaeological consent, etc, etc. There are now about 20 documents attached to this application, which is ridiculous in my opinion, and this pond is still there! In some countries, the developers don't even need to ask anything or report it, they just level it with a ground, job done, and nobody ever remembers that it was something there.

Basically, the approval process is complex but it covers all the aspects and you cannot "just demolish the old building" or build whatever you want. As Blign said, some companies spend years to get through the application process. So, yes, developers in London don't have «the wild card» to do whatever they want and it's not all ruled by money, still...
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Old August 13th, 2013, 01:57 PM   #7659
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Loathing View Post
Mr Bricks is also betraying ignorance and naivity when he writes that "Canary Wharf is a textbook example of unsuccessful regeneration". It is true that a number of armchair-critic academics have written essays about CW's failure to integrate with the surrounding areas, but those sorts of complaints are patently ridiculous in this context.
Mr Bricks is the classic case of someone who has read a book, been somewhere for a holiday and studied google earth to much and thinks he is an expert on the subject. I think we can all agree his ignorance on London is unrivalled and most of what he talks is nothing but his opinion which he trys to dress up as fact by linking to scholarly reports and papers.He really knows jackshit about the place.

I really don’t know why he does it as time and time again his flimsy urban theories he studies and try’s to apply to a place he knows nought about is quite roundly shot down conclusively by people who actually know about the city he seems to think he is an expert on.
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Old August 13th, 2013, 02:53 PM   #7660
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Hawkins\Brown and Mae bags £55m Camden estate overhaul

13 August, 2013 | By Richard Waite

A rather relevant piece of news for those who seem to think council estates are being replaced by the rich.

As with most council estate urban regeneration obsolete or tired parts are being demolished or redeveloped to provide a lot more housing on the site and as is often the case a more mixed community is the desired outcome ( it also allows for some of these regeneration schemes to make sense financially as the private sales subsidise the council and affordable elements allowing the whole scheme to be built).

[IMG]http://i41.************/hup1g5.jpg[/IMG]
A team led by Hawkins\Brown and Mae has won the £55 million project to overhaul the 1960s Agar Grove Estate in Camden, north London

It is understood the practices saw off bids from BPTW, Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands, Pollard Thomas Edwards and PRP with BDP to land the ‘significant’ housing regeneration scheme.

Part of Camden Council’s Community Investment Programme, the project will see 112 homes low-rise homes demolished, 360 new homes built and the central, eighteen-storey Lulworth House tower block stripped back to its frame and refurbished. The residents from the tower will be rehoused on the estate and the apartments in the revamped high-rise will be put up for private sale.

Landscape specialists Grant Associates, services engineer Max Fordham and structural engineer Peter Brett Associates will also work on the 25,600m² project.

Seth Rutt, partner, Hawkins\Brown commented: ‘Camden is showing real commitment to sustainability - both environmentally and socially. The client is keen to build on ‘fabric first’ principles to exceed legislation and tackle fuel poverty. Camden are also committed to keeping the existing community on site, which we will be doing with a phased, single decant - residents will be able to watch their new homes being built - and then move in.’

Alex Ely, partner, Mae added: ‘Camden have a commitment to delivering high quality design and we are delighted to be part of the team for this significant regeneration project.’
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