What Skyline Does London Want?
What Skyline Does London Want? presents a range of intriguing questions and comments raised by the Airspace exhibition held by the Architecture Foundation from 9 June to 14 July 2006.
As the construction of new skyscrapers becomes an accepted norm rather than a debate within itself, the inevitability of London's changing skyline presents a change within this discussion.
The question now is less whether London should have tall buildings, but where and how. Should planners insist that they be grouped in clusters, or some other pre-agreed arrangement? Should they simply go wherever the market demands? Or should they be restricted to the locations where they are already concentrated? What environments should they create at ground level? How should they relate to historic buildings and views?
And what do towers mean, now, in this city? With the Empire State Building celebrating its 75th anniversary this year, can the skyscraper any longer be seen as a symbol of modernity, or is it simply a well-established building type among many others? Will London's new towers be seen as popular landmarks, or the closed citadels of the rich? Will they belong to them, or us?
The discussion about towers goes beyond the arrangement of shapes on the horizon, or the views of individual buildings. It is about the aspirations and values of a city. The aims of Airspace are to reveal to the London public what futures there might be for the space above their heads, and to open up the debate about the way it should be shaped.
Books are priced at £5 + P&P
If you are a member of The Architecture Foundation you are entitled to a 20% discount on all publications. Please contact the AF for details.
To order a copy of What Skyline Does London Want? :