Wednesday, March 7


Some of the world's most famous architects have thrown their weight behind plans for a 30-storey sky-scraper on the edge of the City of London. The public inquiry into the "Walkie Talkie" (pictured) at 20 Fenchurch Street opened yesterday. The inquiry, which comes amid a growing concern about London's changing skyline, is set to pit an array of traditionalists against modernists including Frank Gehry, Lord (Norma) Foster and Lord (Richard) Rogers who all support the building. London's Mayor Ken Livingstone is also an advocate as he tries to increase living and work space in the back-drop of the world's dearest property values. Against the structure are many local councils and heritage groups who bemoan the loss of London's flat line and mostly uninterrupted views of St. Paul's Cathedral. (Picture from the WWW)

Other London high-rise controversies:

  • St George's Wharf, Vauxhall, where deputy prime minister John Prescott has given the green light for a 50-storey residential tower criticised for it 1960s-style architecture.
  • On the South Bank, an array of new towers reaching 460 feet are to go up nearby the entrance to Waterloo station.
  • A 51-storey tower south of Blackfriars Bridge will feature a hotel run by Dubai.
  • A 46-storey residential tower in a mixed-used scheme next to Vauxhall station.
  • A 48-storey residential and leisure development in SE1.