We are fond of the London skyline… be it night shots from Waterloo Bridge, Tower Bridge yawning to allow ship thoroughfare, or viewpoints like the Eye.
But isn’t it getting a little crowded - with literally hundreds of towers proposed - and precious few rejected?
It is rather a cavalier approach to the granting of permissions, compared with the more stringent approval rates of LPAs around the capital. What we see now has been distilled over centuries, yet the high-rises are set to multiply over the next couple of years.
Protection of the collective aesthetic should be akin to the care of a listed building, yet while some sections of the skyline appeal (such as the patchwork of ship designs behind our office in Battersea), others may cause alarm like the view to the East of Waterloo Bridge, which risks morphing into a jar of kitchen utensils.
The kitchen sink?
Planning policies from the said LPAs state that developments should match or tastefully contrast their surroundings, yet Battersea overlooks a gingerbread house mix of Heidi-style chalet towns, Legoland Villages and toys.
Chalets and toys
Everyone likes gingerbread houses, but did the public get much say in the planning approval? The fast-changing skyline has become a big debate, but are our views being heeded in offices that matter? Do the powers-that-be use consultation schemes like the LPAs do?
– WITH EQUAL WEIGHT
- preserving a fluid blend of designs for the residential developments, away from the centre
- only tasteful towers near traditional bastions of London like St Pauls
- the concern about a skyline which is too crowded
The French Alps A host of Hi-Fis?
Assessing whether we have achieved a fluid blend of designs is a subjective issue, yet we are all aware of the fine line between a blend and a mish-mash. For example the aesthetics of a chalet town work more beautifully in the French Alps than in Chelsea, opposite our ship collection and between the toys and a nostalgic set of 80s music centres(!)
We may be at the World’s End, yet it is not the end of the world ∎