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.