The New Broadgate

I am rather fascinated by the imagery of the new building in Broadgate which was given planning approval yesterday, because it betrays absolutely no awareness whatsoever of its surrounding context, as if it is being built in the middle of nowhere, or in Toronto or Sydney as the comparative images suggest – a free-standing monolith, which pays no attention to Liverpool Street or Spitalfields or the view from Victoria Park or, for that matter, the forest of other narcissistic, free-standing towers which will surround it in close proximity.

I can see that the City is determined to show its chutzpah by giving planning permission to a clutch of megaliths, all presented in the name of sustainability by anonymous corporate architects on the international circuit. But is the City’s planning committee really paying attention to changing patterns of work ? To the future skyline ? To the risks of terrorism ? They look a bit like the cooling towers built in the 1970s and now being blown up. That’s not my idea of sustainability.


6 thoughts on “The New Broadgate

  1. mauricedavies says:

    It’s sad how Broadgate is being steadily ruined. The Make building from a few years ago is also overscaled and aggressive. For years, I walked through Broadgate on the way to work and found it a really pleasant and coherent place. No longer, I fear.

  2. These particular planners are desperately out of touch, engaged in a wrong-headed arms race with Canary Wharf as to who can build the tallest and densest. Has no-one done any modelling on the amount of office space the City actually needs post Covid, post Brexit? Or on the City’s carbon impact in building huge new steel and concrete structures?

  3. Agree with all that has been said above. It’s surely contraindicated on every count, from Covid to Brexit to climate change and reducing carbon emissions, quite apart from any sober reflections engendered by 9/11….. It all seems vainglorious anachronism!

  4. kruppers says:

    I cannot see the viability of this kind of development any longer. As noted above, Covid has changed work-life – forever. I’ve long said that 40-60% of City workers do not need to be in an office. The pandemic has proved that to be a low-ball estimate. Where is the demand? Some Pension funds invested in global property suspended contributions due to the difficulty in valuing the underlying assets. It is very short-sighted and not what we need right now. An arms race with Canary Wharf? Crikey I hope not – it’s a soul-less place compared to the City.

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