Friday, 17 September 2010

Future of London

Just off Tottenham Court Road, along a small street with mostly boarded up shops, the unwitting visitor will find an exhibit devoted to futurism, realistic futurism. The Building Centre, home of New London Architecture, and a massive (or tiny, it is 1:1500) scale model of Central London in 2030.

The Pipers Central London Model shows current London with buildings currently under construction, or in the planning stages, superimposed. Around The Gherkin (30 St Mary Axe, or the Swiss Re Building) there are going to be a number of sky scrapers, among them the architecturally impressive Pinnacle. Unfortunately, besides the two named above, the others in the area will be somewhat dull, and large, blocking out the view of these two (soon to be) iconic shapes on the skyline.

The Gherkin, future buildings (white) and crossrail (blue line). The Shard can be seen across the river. Viewed from the North.

Across the river, in the newly redeveloped London Bridge Quarter, will be "The Shard", due for completion in 2012. At over 1000ft the building is not to my taste. In contrast to the Pinnacle's neighbourhood, it will be relatively lonely, with only London Bridge Place (a dwarf at 17 floors) and St Guys Hospital (at 500ft the tallest hospital in the World) for company.

The Shard and London Bridge Place (left) viewed from the South. Ref.

You can also see where crossrail will run (proof that it is much needed), and the new Olympic site at Stratford. One thing I noticed was the strong focus on the North Bank of the Thames. With the South already having a lacklustre transport network, and in real need of more regeneration, all the big plans are being focussed in areas which really don't need them.

Other displays include the plans of regeneration for wider London boroughs, a discussion of the issues considered when designing for cities (such as water, waste and carbon emissions) and an area dedicated to the refitting of older dwellings to create eco-housing.

If you want to find out more about the exhibit this BBCNews article inspired me to visit.

NLA can be found at;
26 Store Street, London WC1E 7BT

Entry is free, and The Building Centre is open Monday-Saturday.

No comments:

Post a Comment