Saturday, 3 October 2009

Tall buildings

April 8th                                                           October 2nd

Two photographs of the same building, 26 weeks apart. It is hard to count accurately from ground level, but I think they have constructed 26 floors in that time: that’s pretty good going.

This is the Heron Tower at the junction of Bishopsgate and London Wall. When completed it will be the tallest building in the UK – but I’m sure an even bigger one will come along in the following years. Designed by architects Kohn Pedersen Fox it currently it stands 36 floor high.  Completion is due in 2011 when it will provide the City with a further 400,000 sq feet of office space.

I’m quite positive about these tall buildings as long as they look good and work well.  In my part of the world, and I’m sure right across London, there seems now to be a real affection for the Gherkin

Indeed, some people are unhappy that their views of the Gherkin are disappearing behind taller buildings which just don’t look as good.  Most often cited is the new Broadgate Tower, by architects Skidmore, Owings & Merrill.  Personally I can’t find anything attractive in it, whether at long distance view, or close-up at street level.  It seems to have no good side, and I imagine it must be quite frustrating to work inside, with views out obscured by all those chunky diagonal braces running across the office windows.

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