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Old Posted Jan 18, 2013, 12:02 AM
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Battle lines drawn to protect views of old London

Battle lines drawn to protect views of old London


09 January 2013

By Martin Bailey



Read More: http://www.theartnewspaper.com/artic...d-London/28379

Quote:
The British government is facing criticism from Unesco for allowing the Shard, Renzo Piano’s 95-storey commercial tower, and other skyscrapers to be built so close to the Tower of London. A response is being prepared by the UK authorities. Unesco’s World Heritage Committee last year recommended that the UK should “regulate further build-up of the area surrounding the Shard of Glass building, ensuring that approved heights do not exceed a height whereby they would become visible above the on-site historic buildings”.

- Preserving the views around the Tower of London has proved highly controversial. Earlier this month, the former heritage minister John Penrose, who stepped down last September, admitted that the Shard “nearly didn’t happen” because of its impact on the Tower. He is calling on English Heritage, with guidance from Unesco, to formulate a policy that would lead to “selecting the best views of our city and townscapes” to be protected in a similar way that buildings can be listed for preservation. The present situation, Penrose says, lacks clarity, which makes it difficult for developers and offers insufficient protection for the most important views. Two years ago, English Heritage published a report to evaluate the significance of historic urban views. Penrose now wants a more formal solution to the problem.

- The Greater London Authority, however, is reluctant to bow to Unesco pressure. Edward Lister, London’s deputy mayor responsible for planning, said that he would “fight” for growth, which means new buildings. “We understand [Unesco’s] concerns, but have to balance them with the demands for an expanding city,” he said. Last July, the World Heritage Committee passed a resolution on the Tower of London, which was inscribed as an internationally-recognised site in 1988. Dating from the 11th century and built by William the Conqueror, it now attracts 2.5 million visitors a year.

- Historic Royal Palaces, which manages the Tower of London, originally opposed the planning application for the Shard, but permission was granted ten years ago. As the Unesco mission points out, “the sheer height of the building will surely attract the gaze—as its design was intended to do—of many a visitor and away from the main attraction of the World Heritage site”. The mission’s report then added: “If any tall buildings are to be planned, these then should not exceed the height by which they would become visible above the on-site historic buildings that are part of the Tower complex.”

- There have been proposals for other skyscrapers near the Shard, including Three Spire Towers, a Sellar Property Group project. Planning permission has not yet been given and a Sellar spokesman said that the project is now “under review”. Despite the recession, the capital is currently witnessing a boom in the construction of tall office blocks. If this continues in the vicinity of the Tower and around the Palace of Westminster and Westminster Abbey (London’s other World Heritage Site) there is a concern that Unesco would consider adding them to the “Heritage in Danger” list. In 2009, Dresden lost its status as a World Heritage Site when a new bridge over the Danube was erected at a sensitive spot near the city’s historic centre.

.....



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Old Posted Jan 18, 2013, 6:32 AM
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Fuck UNESCO.
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Old Posted Jan 18, 2013, 8:35 AM
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Quote:
A response is being prepared by the UK authorities. Unesco’s World Heritage Committee last year recommended that the UK should “regulate further build-up of the area surrounding the Shard of Glass building, ensuring that approved heights do not exceed a height whereby they would become visible above the on-site historic buildings”.
They can not be serious. It's one thing to want to protect views of old London; it's a whole other thing to admonish folks to protect views from old London. I could definitely understand some concern if something huge and imposing was literally build next door to a short heritage site totally blotting out the sun, but the Shard is on the other side of the river, for goodness sake.
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Last edited by LMich; Jan 19, 2013 at 2:49 AM.
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Old Posted Jan 18, 2013, 4:28 PM
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If anything these new structures ad to the background of these old sites, within reason of course.
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Old Posted Jan 18, 2013, 4:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M II A II R II K View Post
If anything these new structures ad to the background of these old sites, within reason of course.
Sorry, I think the shard looks out of place behind the older buildings.
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Old Posted Jan 18, 2013, 6:46 PM
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I think that Cities cannot become museums frozen in time forever, it's unhealthy for any city to have such attitudes, and counterproductive to revoke UNESCO status because something in the city changes, the UNESCO site is still important, and it should be protected, but those protections where the historic site does, anything beyond is of no concern to UNESCO.

Yes, the shard "attracts the gaze" of visitors, but the visitors are still at the tower of london, tourists aren't morons who will suddenly leave the tower of london because they saw something shiny, they're there because they want to tour the tower of london.

seriously, have some faith in people.
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Old Posted Jan 19, 2013, 2:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HomrQT View Post
Sorry, I think the shard looks out of place behind the older buildings.
Bof, I don't think so. It's remote enough from the medieval thing and actually looks fine to me so long as what's built doesn't look crappy.
The contrast may be a little unusual, it's okay.

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Originally Posted by Ch.G, Ch.G View Post
Fuck UNESCO.
Bad idea, though. UNESCO means some renown and some tourists. Of course it's interesting to any place. There must be a possible agreement. I think London shouldn't scatter their skyscrapers, which they've been doing a little. UNESCO would go easier if things were developed as more dense clusters. That's what I read in an article debating the possibility to build some highrises in Bordeaux that's a UNESCO site as well.
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Old Posted Jan 19, 2013, 5:22 PM
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they should take a chill pill; there's no danger of anything being built too tall near the tower.

the shard's attracted me to go to the tower more (that and my wife's obsessed with the history of the tower).

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Old Posted Jan 19, 2013, 6:04 PM
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The Shard is pretty visible from throughout the city. I took this shot from the 5th or 6th floor of a movie theater parking deck in Peckham, South London:

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Old Posted Jan 19, 2013, 6:47 PM
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I thought the UN wanted everyone to live in high-rise buildings and surrender their cars?

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Old Posted Jan 25, 2013, 9:31 PM
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UNESCO should move to demolish all of London and restore Ancient Rome's Londinium in its full glory. Historical preservation/recreation accomplished, and all precious views are protected.
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