The Slab (1)

I’m very sorry to see that Sadiq Khan has decided not to do anything about the planned monster new development on the South Bank nearly next door to the National Theatre which will dominate all views of the River Thames between the Palace of Westminster and St. Paul’s. The local community is very hostile to it – understandably as it will dwarf the housing round Coin Street. The National Theatre is hostile to it because it will make Denys Lasdun’s building look puny. The architectural press has been very hostile to it, led by Simon Jenkins. But the Mayor decides that there is no reason to intervene, presumably because his planning department are in thrall to the big international developers, Mitsubishi and CO-RE. This is at a time when there is a colossal amount of vacant office space, more than at any time for the last 15 years, the equivalent of sixty Gherkins. So, there is a risk that this huge building not find tenants. We will regret it. But by then it will be too late.


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