Towering Infernal



When architects want to hide the fact that they’re about to do something really awful, they hide their plans by showing you a rendering that makes all the buildings appear to be white. The nonsense above with its pretty little square and a handful of people strolling in the sun is the latest plan for Centrepoint, Oxford Street’s exclamation mark of a building that I’ve almost come to love since architect Richard Seifert saw an episode of ‘Thunderbirds’ and decided it was what London needed.

For into the hollowed-out money-laundering facility that is now central London, Centrepoint is finally finding its true place, as a fortress of apartments for the super-rich (with a smattering of poor-door social housing, natch), which rather strands Paramount, its rooftop nightclub, up the Thames without a paddle as the building works are to take years.

Just to ensure that the other end of Oxford Street doesn’t feel left out, it’s getting a nasty stump of its own. Pictured once again against a Mediterranean sky and a six-lane road where the sole tyrannic consists of a lone cyclist, say hello to another ‘Affordable Homes For Russian Criminals’ block. This time the illustrators have carefully avoided the main view – that of a giant lump dwarfing the increasingly tiny Marble Arch itself, as if Boris’s London is determined to bury the few remaining graceful buildings that still remain in the West End. May I refer you to this excellent site for more head-clutchingly awful buildings.


3 comments on “Towering Infernal”

  1. jan briggs says:

    Your comment re Centrepoint being a fortress for the super rich is probably bang on – it does have a fallout shelter beneath the car parking below the present edifice! the giveaway spiral type way in to the car park indicates this and the building does have a very interesting history. I can’t remember it all but i know if readers are interested its got a section in Beneath the City streets

  2. snowy says:

    I think the link is a bit mal-formed.

    Is it meant to be?

    If so the Tesco in Woolwich is particularly nasty thing in dazzle camoflage, set off by highlights that range in tone from pus yellow to a very vibrant snot green.

    The Stratford student building looks like a giant bourbon biscuit.

    And the Cambridge student block was so bad they had to put a concrete wall around it. And even the architects own website seems to want to disclaim any reponsibility for the final mess.

  3. Steve2 says:

    Well given that pretty much the only people shopping in Oxford Street live overseas, its probably right that he only people who own homes there also live overseas.

Comments are closed.