Fag Packet Tower less than enthusiastically welcomed

The Development Management Forum on the proposals for Apex House happened at CONEL on Wednesday night. Some three dozen people attended, including LBH staff and Grainger people, a reflection of the lack of publicity for this statutory event about plans that will directly impact on the lives of thousands of local people. They showed the latest plans for the 22 storey tower – slideshow here. The Q+A that followed heard almost universal condemnation of the plan, on the grounds of massing and lack of ambition in the design, and the long shadow it will cast. Squeezing Customer Services into the library means a loss to both services.

Despite the brief to produce a landmark building for this important site, with high quality design, with one exception the design was not felt to be Landmark enough, and its vast bulk is about the only feature that would be noteworthy. The architect’s claim that the building presents a slender profile when viewed from north and south, was challenged by one person who pointed out that the slideshow fails to show the view from east and west. The High Road frontage will be a great square slab, and the overall shape of the building is that of a fag packet. Your SotoAdmin taped the meeting but sound files will have to follow as the upload takes time.  LBH person Emma Williamson said that a sound record of the meeting will be published, so if they get theirs up first we’ll link it here, with a summary of all points raised.

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