Mansion House (2)

I was prompted by Peter Palumbo’s talk last night to go and see the area which would have been turned into a large public square had Mies’s 1969 scheme gone ahead.   Paradoxically, the area is now occupied by a building as large as any in the City – the new Bloomberg headquarters which has been designed by Norman Foster and has taken over an immense site immediately west of Mansion House:-

What I realised – I know it’s obvious – is the extent to which the City has been a battleground between rival philosophies of urban development:  the Roman, planned, coherent, based round the ideal of the forum;  and the medieval, more organic, haphazard and unplanned, more small-scale.

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