It’s hard to work up much sympathy for London and its citizens, who have suddenly learned that they may expect 236 more skyscrapers on their skyline. A petition of opposition has been signed by, at last count, 70 nabobs of London.
“The skyline of London is out of control,” says the document. “Over 200 tall buildings, from 20 storeys to much greater heights, are currently consented or proposed. Many of them are hugely prominent and grossly insensitive to their immediate context and appearance on the skyline. This fundamental transformation is taking place with a shocking lack of public awareness, consultation or debate.”
The petition drive is supported mostly by architects, planners, artists and academics. Signatories include the likes of Sir David Chipperfield — winner of the Stirling Prize, the British equivalent of our Pritzker. You do not qualify for a Stirling unless your buildings are “grossly insensitive to their immediate context and appearance on the skyline.” Other signers, such as architect Sarah Wigglesworth, architectural historian Joseph Rykwert and author Alain de Botton, show little or no concern in their work for threats to skylines, contexts or people, for that matter, in London or anywhere else.
To read the rest of this column, please visit The Providence Journal.