2014 has seen a steady and exciting growth in the architecture, building structures and building services sectors. At Blueprint we are experiencing growing demand for structural engineers, architects and technicians at all levels across the UK.
It looks like the market growth is set to continue with some high-profile ambitious plans for redevelopment of major towns and cities around the UK including the Nine Elms development in London.
Of course all this development work is going to stir emotions within those who are pro and against development of this type and it’s important that the development plans are coordinated and that the use of space is appropriate for the area being developed.
I read the following article in ‘Building Design’ recently with interest;
The programme director behind the mammoth Nine Elms development in south London, Helen Fisher, has defended the design quality of the scheme’s planned tower cluster.
Helen Fisher, programme director for Nine Elms, told BD’s sister title Building there was “more heat than light” in the debate over the fast-changing shape of London’s skyline and insisted developers at Nine Elms had hired “brilliant architects” for upcoming tall schemes.
Eight towers over 120m are either planned or under construction near Vauxhall station to the north of the Nine Elms scheme, by architects including Allies and Morrison, KPF and Cary Jones.
A ninth, Broadway Malyan-designed 48-storey St George Wharf, is already complete.
The planned Nine Elms cluster has been at the centre of a row over the design quality of 250 towers planned across London, which has sparked calls for a Mayoral commission to review tall building policy.
Fisher said the Nine Elms partnership, which comprises the London boroughs of Wandsworth and Lambeth, the Greater London Assembly, Transport for London and 16 private developers, took design quality “hugely seriously”.
She said all Nine Elms schemes will be subject to Cabe or local design reviews and the partnership was open to co-ordinating more closely with the Greater London Authority (GLA) on tall building policy.
Fisher said the partnership was focussing on making sure there are “active ground floor uses” for all of the towers and on public realm improvements – such as new town squares and a linear garden linking the cluster to Battersea Power Station to the south – to give the area a “buzzy” feel.
The area around Vauxhall station was identified as a potential location for a tall building cluster by the GLA and the London boroughs of Wandsworth and Lambeth in 2008, and the Nine Elms partnership was set up in part to deliver this in 2010.
Here at Blueprint we look forward to helping to resource the projects and ultimately seeing the end results. It’s exciting times for London and many other towns and cities around the country.
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