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CompayEE
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Having just voted (for The Pinnacle & Shard) in your poll for the favourite project in London, I cannot refrain from pointing out yet again their connection to financial backing/funding from the Arab world.
Much as the Arabs and their faith are being currently maligned by the right wing tabloid press in Britain, it is important to remind the public their role in backing these important and daring projects, risky as they are though prone to bring the investor eventually much deserved financial reward.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shard_London_Bridge

In January 2008, it was announced that a consortium of Qatari investors had paid £75m to secure an 80% stake and take control of the project. The new owners have promised to provide the first tranche of finance, meaning construction of the tower can now begin. The consortium includes QInvest, Qatar National Bank, Quatari Islamic Bank and the developer Barwa Real Estate. The deal involves a buyout of the Halabi and CLS stakes, and part of the Sellar Property stake.[5]

Another notable feature of the building would be a public viewing gallery at the top. This would be expected to draw over 2 million visitors a year, around the same number as those visiting the London Eye. In addition, a shorter building known as London Bridge Place will be built nearby. This will replace the current London Bridge House and the combined sites will create what will be known as The London Bridge Quarter.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bishopsgate_Tower

In August 2007, Arab Investments signed a pre-construction contract with Multiplex to build the tower. Details are as yet to be ironed out.[3]
 

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yes we have been rejoicing the funding package from some of the arab states. These have been helped also by the UKs flexibility when it comes to implementing islamic banking practises.
 

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CompayEE
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I am so sorry to repeat stuff that was already discussed here but I'm new to this forum so hopefully you'll pardon my blunder!

While you Comdot and Potto -am sure- do not mind or even rejoice this influx of Arab money that finally seem to trigger the work on the sites of the Pinnacle respectively of the Shard, I wonder if this is deemed desirable too by certain (local) flag waving contributors to this forum.
 

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haha yeah i see what you are getting at. This probably isnt the best place for the discussion though, possibly it is more a skybar topic. I can assure you though that when this did rear its ugly head in one of the relvent threads there was a general outcry against the poster and the posts were eventually removed as it was ultimately off topic.
 

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Who gives a crap where the money comes from...if a bunch of Arabs are willing to pay for shiny towers that we can't afford, then great...we still get the shiny towers, that's all we care about on this forum...as long as they don't stick a speaker on top and start doing calls to prayer 5 times a day.
 

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CompayEE
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
yeah..We shouldn't politicise or ethnicise (if I can make up this verb) the buildings or the architecture. Look at the Chinese and their adoption of Rem Koolhass or Paul Andreu as creators of what are eventually going to be very Chinese icons (the CCTV building and the National Chinese Theatre cum Opera). What a relaxed attitude!

London -a world city above all- is in no different position much as many a nostalgic are trying to re-"parochialise" it.

I just passed today by the site where Renzo Piano's new building is about to be built (Denmark Street) and I thought: finally London is opening up to "ethnic" architects (if I can use this word usually applies to food) and that even before the Shard will become reality. A bit too late but if they made it in such a great number in the Premiership (as players and coaches) it is only too logical that they are about to seize the realm of the architecture too.

http://us.ft.com/ftgateway/superpage.ft?news_id=fto032120082308235083&page=2

P.S. Shame for Iraqi-born Zaha Hadid's Architecture Foundation HQ being axed! Hopefully her Arab kin will throw a lifeline too though I really doubt this will happen due to the peculiar nature of the building.
 

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CompayEE
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Hey Large!

If your jibe is directed at me than you are lashing out in vain (I'm not Arab despite having chosen an image of the cluster of the 16th century Yemeni desert skyscrapers as an avatar)
 

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CompayEE
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Hey DarJoLe!

It's not rocket science to guess what am I getting at or decode my weasel words!

These are challenging times in the sense that we are witnessing a backclash against what is perceived as the "alien" danger. This has a mainly a political dimension but a cultural/artistic/architectural one too.
Countries, people, societies are "re-parochialising" themselves (see Ireland's
No vote blocking the European project). Not even our beloved mongrel London is safely immune from the virus.

The tabloids are day by day incessantly drumming sombre anti- "Johnny the foreigner" tunes and society is lurching to the right of the political spectrum. London itself (due to the massive vote of the elderly and of the white lower middle class SE suburbs) kind of succumbed to the Tories and its Mayor and Deputy Mayor now unashamedly hail a new vision of a London not of skyscrapers but one of... parochial, provincial bungalows. See how this can affect architecture?

My thread just pointed out to those less aware readers how important is the cosmopolitan, outward looking connections of London, essential in many ways to its intention to build those iconic skyscrapers we all so keenly wait for.
 

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For those without access to the NY Times website, here's an article from today's paper:

From the Gulf, Money for Towers in London

By JULIA WERDIGIER
Published: June 20, 2008

LONDON — Some of the construction cranes rising over the City of London, the financial hub of Europe, bear the seal of sovereign riches. Not British riches — Middle Eastern ones.

After investing in the financial industry here, sovereign wealth funds from the oil-rich Persian Gulf are pouring money into the London skyline.

A Kuwaiti fund recently spent £400 million ($783 million) to buy the Willis Building, one of the tallest in the square-mile financial district, and plans to invest even more here.

Qatar, the sultanate of Oman, and Arab Investments — a secretive London-based fund — are also investing in skyscrapers that will transform the City, as the district is known, over the next three years.

London has a long history of welcoming foreigners and their money, but the City is particularly eager for investment now because the credit crisis threatens to slow several projects.

“That money will make a difference to the projects,” said Colin Wilson, a director at real estate adviser DTZ in London. “For a lot of these investors, London has proven to be an attractive investment.”

For years, Middle Eastern family funds have invested in the glamorous and wealthy West End of London, buying residential buildings and offices in fashionable neighborhoods like Kensington and Knightsbridge. But with the turmoil in the financial services industry, these investors have shifted their focus to the capital’s financial center. Prices for commercial real estate there dropped as much as 20 percent in the last eight months, while those in the West End have barely budged.

Some of the buildings became available because financing dried up and developers like British Land, the biggest in London, started to lose money. Qatar’s investment in the £2 billion London Bridge Tower in January ended months of speculation whether the 1,016-foot building, designed by Renzo Piano and located on the south bank of the Thames River across from the City, would go ahead. Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad bin Jabor Al Thani, chairman of Qatar Islamic Bank, cited market-oriented policies and the friendly investment environment in Britain among the many reasons for injecting money into the project.

Middle Eastern investors were responsible for about 15 percent of the £2.45 billion invested in central London offices in the first quarter of this year, up from just 4 percent in all of 2007, according to property adviser CB Richard Ellis.

Lindsey Robinson, executive director of the London-based St. Martins asset management company, which invests money on behalf of Kuwait, said that 18 months ago he had to look elsewhere to put money because Britain was too expensive. That has changed over the last few months. The acquisition of the 29-story Willis Building, designed by architect Norman Foster, was not a bargain, but thanks to the credit crisis, fewer buyers competed for it.

“If you are a buyer in this market, you are certainly in a good place,” said Mat Oakley, director of research at real estate agent Savills. “The market has somewhat bottomed out and competition among buyers is small.”

Snapping up high-profile buildings on the cheap is not the priority for Gulf investors. London skyscrapers are attractive to them as long-term investments with an almost guaranteed income. The turmoil in the financial market may force some companies to cut back on office space for a while, but in the long-term these investments will probably pay off, said Nick Axford, head of research and consulting at CB Richard Ellis.

The bet is that the special appeal of renting space in a landmark skyscraper will cushion any decline in office demand in the short term and most of the Middle-Eastern funded skyscrapers are not due to be completed before 2010. The Pinnacle, for example, a 66-story office building financed by Arab Investments and designed to have the highest restaurant in the city, is expected to be completed by 2012.

Pierre N. Rolin, a London-based real estate investment adviser whose close ties to the Middle East led to a $900 million investment by the sultanate of Oman in the Heron Tower, another skyscraper, is confident his clients will get a 20 percent return on the investment by 2012. Mr. Rolin said demand from Gulf funds for such investments in London seems unlimited.

“They’re on a buying spree, and you’ll see many more trophy assets being snapped up in all ways and forms,” Mr. Rolin said. “They are looking for prestigious, luxury assets and the demand is higher than I have ever seen in my life.”

The record oil prices and skyrocketing land prices in the Gulf states mean the funds have a lot of cash to invest. Property abroad is an attractive asset and helps the funds diversify their portfolios away from commodities. It also helps the funds, many of which are not older than 10 years, to establish themselves as global players.

“There is a perception there that if you are an international investor, you should have an investment in London,” Mr. Oakley said.

Funds are growing so fast it has become challenging for them to find suitable investments, Mr. Robinson said.

St. Martins, which apart from the Willis building is also investing in three other developments in the City, seeks to spend about £300 million each on up to four projects every year as Kuwait plans to increase the asset value of the fund to £9 billion from £3 billion over the next five years.

British lawmakers and business leaders repeatedly speak out in favor of foreign investment, including from the Middle East, partly because they are eager to differentiate themselves from their often more critical American and continental European counterparts.

“The U.K. has consistently maintained a policy of openness to all foreign investors, including to sovereign wealth funds, and we continue to welcome their investment,” said Kitty Ussher, economic secretary to the Treasury.

“Investments from sovereign wealth funds can also bring benefits by relaxing borrowing constraints, reducing the cost of capital for businesses and by improving capital allocation.”

Source: New York Times
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/20/business/worldbusiness/20wealth.html?_r=1&dbk&oref=slogin
 

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Hey DarJoLe!

The tabloids are day by day incessantly drumming sombre anti- "Johnny the foreigner" tunes and society is lurching to the right of the political spectrum. London itself (due to the massive vote of the elderly and of the white lower middle class SE suburbs) kind of succumbed to the Tories and its Mayor and Deputy Mayor now unashamedly hail a new vision of a London not of skyscrapers but one of... parochial, provincial bungalows. See how this can affect architecture?

My thread just pointed out to those less aware readers how important is the cosmopolitan, outward looking connections of London, essential in many ways to its intention to build those iconic skyscrapers we all so keenly wait for.
Oh please, spare us the drivel!

Please don't come here and try and politicise and thus divide this forum. There are plenty other forums you can go to if you want to spout the biased, uninformed, claptrap that you just did.

Someone give this guy a red card.
 

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Large Member
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Hey Large!

If your jibe is directed at me than you are lashing out in vain (I'm not Arab despite having chosen an image of the cluster of the 16th century Yemeni desert skyscrapers as an avatar)
Why would it be directed at you, although you obviously have an angle which has been rumbled very quickly. Arab investment is very welcome, I just dislike it when Muslims, or any other foreigners with a culture that demands world domination, fail to adapt to our culture when they come here, or worse still, try to impose their culture on us due to our tolerant open minded democracy. Thankfully businessmen tend to steer clear of this.
 

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Épater la Bourgeoisie
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Why would it be directed at you, although you obviously have an angle which has been rumbled very quickly. Arab investment is very welcome, I just dislike it when Muslims, or any other foreigners with a culture that demands world domination, fail to adapt to our culture when they come here, or worse still, try to impose their culture on us due to our tolerant open minded democracy. Thankfully businessmen tend to steer clear of this.
Are muslims jews and everybody else trying to convert you to their faith are they forcing you to live by their rules?No!
Yes they do have their festivals and everything but last time I checked UK was a free country.
Youre exactly the kind of flag waving narrowminded daily mail evening standard reading fool CompayEE was talking about.
Shut it boy.
 

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Shut it boy.
:bash:

So much for talk of free speech and so much for democracy. People like you would love all people who have an opinion other than your own to be quiet. Well thankfully, I don't have to 'shut it' in this country. You are extremely ignorant to call me a flag waving nationalist...my opinions are better informed than most. I have spent a lot of time in other countries, many of them Muslim, and there you do have to 'shut it' or they kill you, or throw you in jail...before I visited these countries I was much more accepting of 'other cultures', now I am extremely wary of them and ever more keen to preserve our culture and way of life...like the vast majority in this country who have kept silent on this subject for years because of the 'liberal bullies' that infest our main media outlets...particularly the BBC. I expect that one of the side effects of the coming recession is that people will feel less constrained about expressing these opinions, and tolerance will decrease. People are sick of seeing our way of life always put second to mutliculturalism.

You must be extremely insecure about yourself and your opinions if your only response to others who you disagree with is to tell them to shut up.
 

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The "liberal elite" need to come up with a new cliche. I am getting so bored with the "flag waving, Daily Mail reading" one. Come on El Greco, no one here has called you a "Guardian reading apologist" have they? Ooops sorry I just did!
 

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Épater la Bourgeoisie
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:bash:

So much for talk of free speech and so much for democracy. People like you would love all people who have an opinion other than your own to be quiet. Well thankfully, I don't have to 'shut it' in this country. You are extremely ignorant to call me a flag waving nationalist...my opinions are better informed than most. I have spent a lot of time in other countries, many of them Muslim, and there you do have to 'shut it' or they kill you, or throw you in jail...before I visited these countries I was much more accepting of 'other cultures', now I am extremely wary of them and ever more keen to preserve our culture and way of life...like the vast majority in this country who have kept silent on this subject for years because of the 'liberal bullies' that infest our main media outlets...particularly the BBC. I expect that one of the side effects of the coming recession is that people will feel less constrained about expressing these opinions, and tolerance will decrease. People are sick of seeing our way of life always put second to mutliculturalism.

You must be extremely insecure about yourself and your opinions if your only response to others who you disagree with is to tell them to shut up.
Yes I do think that narrow minded little inglanders should keep quiet.They are a disgrace to this country.

Well done on spending time in Muslim countries.So have I.And I have to say people in these countries are an extremely friendly bunch and as long as you respect them they will respect you.

You talk about immigrants imposing their culture on us but do you have any evidence of this or is it just empty talk?Sure they do have their own dress code their own faith etc but so what?Youre still an englishman arent you?
You still celebrate Christmas dont you?So what exactly are they imposing on you?Are they forcing you to convert to their faith?Are they forcing you to dress like them?

The "liberal elite" need to come up with a new cliche. I am getting so bored with the "flag waving, Daily Mail reading" one. Come on El Greco, no one here has called you a "Guardian reading apologist" have they? Ooops sorry I just did!
'Flag waving Daily Mail reading' is a spot on description of your species so theres no need to come up with a new 'cliche'.
 
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