Stockwell Street Development
Several people have contacted me, saying they’d like somewhere to discuss the plans for the Stockwell Street development, since they feel that the feedback form at the consultation itself is not-very-subtely weighted towards making it look like everyone supports the plans.
For my own two penn’orth, this feels a very timid design. It’s as though the architects have been told that they will get massively negative feedback if they create anything too outlandish, and yet also feel that they cannot create a mere pastiche of neo-classical buildings on a school of architecture.
And I do feel for the university guys. I think that, unlike Greenwich Hospital Trust, they do actually give a damn about what local people think, and they are actually interested in promoting Greenwich as a brilliant place. I even think they will listen to feedback, if you can make sure it’s all in the notes, rather than the ‘do you support this or that’ bits.
But the result here, IMHO, is a very dull building indeed. Lots of grey stone and glass, but no real innovation. Admittedly it’s better than John Humphries House – but this is a school of architecture – and, although it’s within a heritage site (which I know they’re aware of) that doesn’t mean that it has to be bland and blockish.
They talked about covering over the railway cutting while I was there, which would be great – perhaps creating a new village market or a green space – but the big problem with this idea is that they don’t own the land – so with the best will in the world, it’s not within their gift.
They also talked of narrowing the road, so they could build into the pavement area – apparently they would be within their rights to do this – they do own that land, but I worry that it would make the pavement seem very mean (their argument for narrowing the road is to prevent rat-running with the new pedestrianisation proposals, also that they would be following the line of the ancient street.)
I don’t know. I don’t utterly, utterly hate this. But neither does it excite me. I would have liked to see something innovative – something worthy of a nickname. “The Boring Building” doesn’t really cut it…
Find out about the consultation here