Thursday, June 21

City's Edge

I have visited the top floor of this building , pictured, which is also Henderson Asset Mgmt hq and the eastern edge of The City, London's financial centre. Liverpool station, London's Grand Central station, a few blocks away.  The area between here and Canary Wharf to the south and the Olympic village to the north (both about five miles) is mostly derelict and here lies the potential : link the East End to London's centre via new transportation and, voila, housing shortage solved.  Something to consider when, as reported on BBC4 this morning, London expects to gain 1 million residents in twenty-five years.

The amount of new development across London staggering. There is barely a block unloved by developers who add sleek new urban architecture like the the Shard. The last time the city saw this sort of build up was the '60s post Second World War construction surge leaving us with concrete and asbestos edifices that mold away unloved or torn down.

My first London job, with buyout firm Botts & Co., in Lintas House , EC4A, once cutting edge and now simply gone : replaced by the sharp angles, black granite glass metal sky-rises+trendy sushi-coffee expresses of New Fetter Place. Also gone is the sun and any sense of humour.