The New London

I was walking across Hungerford bridge – the new one designed by Lifschutz Davidson – and looked out towards the west and saw, not the pinnacles and towers of the Palace of Westminster, but a wilder and more unexpected roofscape of the new Vauxhall, dominating the skyline with a chimera of international wealth.   I find it odd to remember that it was Ken Livingstone, not Boris, who dreamed that his native city could become Dubai-on-Thames.   Now that his dream is being realised, does he – should we – congratulate him on the viagra of redevelopment ?

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7 thoughts on “The New London

  1. It has been forgotten too easily that Ken Livingstone did well, culturally, for London. With Tony Banks as the Chair of its Arts Committee, he transformed the city (including its architecture).

  2. Jenny Newall says:

    Dear Charles,
    Next time you are exploring the New London, do go and see the Cabinet Gallery which opened last week in Vauxall. There is an amazing Jim Nutt exhibition- perhaps it is already on your list.
    Let me know if you have time for lunch at the bonnington cafe x

  3. Christopher Nevile says:

    I can’t agree with Mark that KL and his crew have done well for the architecture of London. For 50 or more years we awaited the redevelopment of the river banks with breathless expectation assuming that those in authority would deliver genuine quality and integrity. What we have got, and lets be honest the project is almost over, is a very small number of fine buildings crowded out by example after example of the worst sort of cheap commercial tawdriness. Minor buildings of appropriateness and elegance dominated by grandiose confections of fashion and pomposity. I would site the developments on either bank of Chelsea Bridge and Vauxhall Bridge as prime examples. That one developer has been able to acquire such a stranglehold on the riverbanks and to repeat their crimes from Limehouse to Mortlake is certainly part of the failure and i would put a great deal of the blame for this onto the Mayors and their inability to recognise the unique opportunity they had and have now p…..d away.

  4. Christopher Nevile says:

    Chelsea Embankment beside the Nuffield Hospital and the old Pumping Station(?) and on reflection you may be right about Vauxhall Bridge!

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