Published  11/12/2001

In memory of tall buildings


As if this were the perfect time to celebrate high-rise, the Mayor of London Ken Livingstone is, in alliance with the City Corporation of London, to give the best possible support to a new generation of megatowers, grafted, as it were, into the St Paul’s skyline. Gerald Ronson, of Guinness fame, is back in the game too, with a 222 m high tower proposed for Bishopsgate — an inquiry will examine this scheme next year. Developer Irvine Sellar is having a go at London Bridge Station with a 66-storey ‘pyramid’ tower by Renzo Piano. Architect Nicholas Grimshaw is also designing a vertical extension of Paddington station by some 200 m, next door to one by — guess who — Lord Rogers. The problem is that English Heritage shot themselves in the foot last year, by supporting Lord Foster’s ‘erotic gherkin’ design for Swiss Re. The actuality of the market is different. Credit Suisse First Boston, Morgan Stanley, HSBC, and Citigroup have all moved to the Docklands, and, only two months ago, Barclays announced they were decamping in that direction. Strangely enough, the Government — and the public at large — have not yet spoken. But it is coming: the Mayor may get his come-uppance. But what a relief that Mayor Archer is not in charge.

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