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The tallest towers in the City are way too close. It looks like they're all about to try and get in to a tiny lift together.

However good the designs of any of them, the effect just seems ruined as it's near impossible to take one in isolation, and as a whole the skyline suffers for being too busy/concentrated.

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The tallest towers in the City are way too close. It looks like they're all about to try and get in to a tiny lift together.

However good the designs of any of them, the effect just seems ruined as it's near impossible to take one in isolation, and as a whole the skyline suffers for being too busy/concentrated.

And out of everyone on this thread, I am the gospel. [MODS - CLOSE THREAD NOW]
At least one CoL Councillor agrees with you.

09/09/2015
City to review tall buildings policy

Councillor warns that towers are being ‘crammed in like overcrowded Tube passengers’

The City of London is to review its tall buildings policy after one of its own councillors said towers were being “crammed in like passengers on a rush-hour tube”.

Patrick Streeter accused the City of having a “laissez faire” approach in the east.

The Independent member of the planning committee expressed particular concern over Eric Parry’s planned replacement of the Aviva Tower at 1 Undershaft.

Standing next to Rogers Stirk Harbour’s Cheesegrater, this is proposed to be about the same height as the Shard at London Bridge.

Streeter tabled a question at yesterday’s planning committee meeting titled “Nightmare on Leadenhall Street” asking what “pointers” had been given to the Undershaft developer.

“We should reassess our policy here and check that we are not heading for serious over-development,” he said.

He described the 118m Aviva Tower – which opened as the Commercial Union Building in 1969 and was designed by GMW (now part of Scott Brownrigg) – as “good, appropriate and well-spaced”.

He said: “The City’s policy in the Eastern Quarter is effectively laissez faire. Skyscrapers are being crammed in and will be like passengers in a rush-hour tube, jostling against each other for space.

“It’s going to get out of control. The City should take a pause to rethink.”

He added: “My son works in the Cheesegrater and I often meet him there for lunch. You notice the claustrophobia in the air. There are no green spaces nearby for people to go to. One remedial step would be pedestrianise Leadenhall Street and St Mary Axe.”

The City’s chief planning officer Annie Hampson responded: “The eastern cluster is the area where we anticipate the greatest density but it doesn’t mean it’s overlooked or ill-considered. We are looking at it very closely.”

She said she could only talk in private about the pre-application discussions with the developer on the Undershaft site for reasons of commercial confidentiality.

Committee chairman Michael Welbank said Streeter had raised important issues and slated a review of the corporation’s tall buildings policy for the next meeting on October 6. The discussion may take place with press and public excluded.
http://www.bdonline.co.uk/city-to-review-tall-buildings-policy/5077467.article
 

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Whats your answer then? More higgledy-piggledy 'iconic' shapes mashed together? The city skyline is deeply visually unsatisfying at the moment - and the only way to recify it is some regularity of massing and increased spacing between the towers.
Sounds wonderfully medieval or renaissance ;) The skyline is dense and tight due economic-political constraints so I would make use of that by treating this main core of the cluster as a singular entity so I would add further strong robust tapers to the skyline, curved or linear, not set backs (too many of those useless cheap things).

This proposal could have just had a taper on one side to leverage 133 Leadenhall but it would need to reach further above 22 Bishopsgate to have sufficient impact on the skyline. Also the taper doesnt even need to resolve to a point as tapering can be merely suggestive of a vanishing point. The Shard for example does not complete to a point.

A skyline is a journey in which you scan with your eye and then take in as a whole. Points of interest and purpose aid the journey and a sense of balance and framing aid the complete picture. The trouble with rectangles and flatness is that it doesn't add much in the way of points of interest and does not lead the eye on. Rectangles can work well on the skyline if they are sufficiently taller in regards to both skyline and height-width ratio turning into a pseudo spire, the NY twin towers were successful in this way.

The problem with the City cluster is that is starting to resemble a vertical version of the horizontal mass that it rises up from but without the focal point of St Pauls. It has already coagulated into two main rectangular blocks, the Eastern block of Tower 42, Heron tower, 100 Bishopsgate and the centre block of 22 Bishopsgate and this new addition. So although the cluster importantly acts as a counter to the problem of St Pauls drowning in a horizontal mass it has also now become large enough to become a skyline entity in its own right however it will have all the finesse and resolution of a 1970s video game.
 

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I see that a lot of reports are mistakingly giving the 309m height for this.
I got the Financial times to edit their front page article today over this. They deleted the graphic they had drawn up, comprehensively re-worded the article, and then promptly deleted the entire comments section to cover their tracks. :)

.. The Telegraph on the other hand just ignored that their article was factually wrong, and left it as is.
 

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I just can't get over how they thought this was great without some form of crown or spire or at least some stepping back towards the top.

Even 22BG has some form of stepping towards the top. This is more akin to what we are used to in CW. It wouldn't have taken much to even just slope the top or add two spires like the John Hancock or Willis.

My preference would have been for a crown such as 2 International Finance Centre in Hong Kong or if they wanted something more boxy like the SunTrust Plaza in Atlanta.

Yes, the bracing adds some interest but the flat top makes me scream. I though the whole point of 22BG being big and bulky was to allow this to form the actual 'pinnacle' of the cluster.

Once again CoL planners have totally missed the point in having a focal point for the cluster. This is just another Dallas/Denver/Houston box.
 

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The tallest towers in the City are way too close. It looks like they're all about to try and get in to a tiny lift together.

However good the designs of any of them, the effect just seems ruined as it's near impossible to take one in isolation, and as a whole the skyline suffers for being too busy/concentrated.
Although I agree in terms of height deferential nearly all of the cluster buildings are are too close together but I would say that was more a poor handling of what you have to work with in the first place. Tapering and curves work ideally in such a situation to offset the tight packing. Rectangular blocks just exasperate the problem. Pretty obvious I would have thought.
 

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something has to give here.

the area deemed suitable for tall buildings needs to be expanded in all directions - south towards the river, north right up to shoreditch and east and west up to the tower of london and st pauls respectively

they then need to draw concentric circles on map centered on the middle of the City and say 'if your building falls within this circle is can be 100-150m, if in the middle circle 150-250m and in the centre 250-330m' ...or whatever - you get my point

this basic framework would guarantee a satisfying and much easier to coordinate skyline.

...also screw the outdated sightlines - they make no sense - who looks at st pauls from the east end!!??
 

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A few quick thoughts:
- The taper of the building comes off as so slight that all it does is make the tower look off somehow. This in turn adjusts the angles of metal bracing so that they too look off.

- The ratio of tower to frame doesn't look overly appealing. As efficient as I'm sure it is, the juxtaposition between the elegant frame to the not so elegant structure isn’t the best.

- The roof. Is this not meant to be the new pinnacle for the City of London?? As the eye drawing centrepiece of the cluster surely it should be of the utmost importance to make sure that it is a visually attractive feature? I'm not saying it has to be a masterpiece but for it to simply end in the way it does is a little underwhelming to say the least.

I like the idea of the offset core (though I find the lack of renders of it a little worrying), the weathered steel and the open base but other than that it really is thumbs down from me. I’d have much preferred something in the style of The New York Times Building or that fleeting design for 22 Bishopsgate. The previous triangular one was pretty good too.
 

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South East Nine
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something has to give here.

the area deemed suitable for tall buildings needs to be expanded in all directions - south towards the river, north right up to shoreditch and east and west up to the tower of london and st pauls respectively

they then need to draw concentric circles on map centered on the middle of the City and say 'if your building falls within this circle is can be 100-150m, if in the middle circle 150-250m and in the centre 250-330m' ...or whatever - you get my point

this basic framework would guarantee a satisfying and much easier to coordinate skyline.

...also screw the outdated sightlines - they make no sense - who looks at st pauls from the east end!!??
Yeah we've come to the point where citywide views of a coherent City skyline are compromised for the sake of some location-specific St. Paul's sightlines. That on top of height restrictions which deny a true skyline pinnacle.
 

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A few quick thoughts:
- The taper of the building comes off as so slight that all it does is make the tower look off somehow. This in turn adjusts the angles of metal bracing so that they too look off.

- The ratio of tower to frame doesn't look overly appealing. As efficient as I'm sure it is, the juxtaposition between the elegant frame to the not so elegant structure isn’t the best.

- The roof. Is this not meant to be the new pinnacle for the City of London?? As the eye drawing centrepiece of the cluster surely it should be of the utmost importance to make sure that it is a visually attractive feature? I'm not saying it has to be a masterpiece but for it to simply end in the way it does is a little underwhelming to say the least.

I like the idea of the offset core (though I find the lack of renders of it a little worrying), the weathered steel and the open base but other than that it really is thumbs down from me. I’d have much preferred something in the style of The New York Times Building or that fleeting design for 22 Bishopsgate. The previous triangular one was pretty good too.
Earlier I was thinking that 1 Undershaft would work better with that Pilbrow & Partners concept for 22 Bishopsgate, although it was always a non-starter.
 

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One of these cities is a global powerhouse; a leader in the arts, culture, jobs and flocked to from the world over. The other is Kansas City.




Our city is in the unenviable position of having a skyline which is too clustered but at the same time barely a cluster. A mass of different shapes, yet largely linear in form. There is no peak, no crowns, no innovation and no respect for its surroundings or its inhabitants.

This isn't Eric Parry's fault or even PLP.

The CoL planning department should be held accountable for this. If I was this inept at my job, I'd have been destitute long ago.

This may seem dramatic, but I can't stand to see my city turn into what's been shown.
 

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22 Bishopsgate is the main culprit here it should of been at least 20 floors lower to take into account it's ridiculous width. The undershaft would of then taken the role as the tallest tower in the city by a long shot.
The city now looks a complete mess. I'm sure like Bishopsgate it will fly through planning without any hitches public consultation on these towers is just lip service, something developers have to do knowing full well they won't get much changed.
 
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