WAN Jobs
News Review
WAN Urban Challenge
WAN Awards
Previous Next

Central Saint Giles, London, United Kingdom

Thursday 16 Jul 2009

Renzo colours London

Central Saint Giles by Renzo Piano Building Workshop in London, United Kingdom
Central Saint Giles by Renzo Piano Building Workshop in London, United Kingdom Central Saint Giles by Renzo Piano Building Workshop in London, United Kingdom Central Saint Giles by Renzo Piano Building Workshop in London, United Kingdom Central Saint Giles by Renzo Piano Building Workshop in London, United Kingdom Central Saint Giles by Renzo Piano Building Workshop in London, United Kingdom Central Saint Giles by Renzo Piano Building Workshop in London, United Kingdom
Your comments on this project

No. of Comments: 5

Add comments | More comments

11/01/11 Chris Montgomery, London
Some photos of Renzo Piano's Central St Giles..

27/05/10 Alison, London
I am so sorry but 'The Emperor's new clothes syndrome' comes to mind.

When I regard this building it seems to consume everything around it and to impose its not inconsiderable power upon the surrounding area with no regard for anything in its vicinity, any cultural or religious significance, or the interesting history of the area. It is a massive and powerfully overwhelming piece of ephemera that sadly will not be ephemeral. As the child said, in another person's comment, although alluding to sweet wrapping papers, its brightness is like wrapping paper, something which we throw away or recycle these days. I remain very saddened that the view looking out from the inside of St Giles Church is entirely taken up by this imposing architectural leviathon and that the architect does not seem to care about the area's history or dispalying any sensitivity towards it. I wonder if this had been placed beside St Marks Square in Venice whether the locals would have been entirely happy?! My opinion is it is in the wrong place and that the idea would be great at - say Canary Wharf, but where it is situated it is a massive mistake and an eyesore. I love modern architecture, but this has unfortunately taken over this historic area in a sort of uncomfortable visual fascism. I must say I thought at first, when I watched it going up, that the garish coloured facade was a sort of cladding waiting for the 'real' building materials to cover it! Sorry if this offends anyone but it is truly my opinion and what I strongly think. Why the architect or company owning the building could not have offered to at least give St Giles Church some money to conserve their building in at least an acknowledgement of their responsibilities to their neighbours. It seems to an onlooker that Mammon has indeed swallowed us whole and spat out a feeling of things being sadly tarnished and fading in its vicinity and spiritually wrong, when one looks at this sad juxtaposition. I love St Giles Church and this one special place should have been carefully cherished and sensitively treated by surrounding architecture instead of marginalised by such a huge building. I hope that The Church outlives this building and that one day ina prospective future the disproportion will once again return to what it should be. I am really surprised that the owners of the site and the architect, who one hopes would take some pride in his work, do not seem to care about the reality of what they have done!
Click for more ...
03/01/10 Liz (auntie to Lily), greenwich
Discussing buildings we had recently seen with my neice, who is training at Sheffield her 6 year old sister Lily piped up that the building she had seen - this one - was like a 'cucumber wrapped in sweetie papers'. I think I have a budding architecture critic in the family too!
29/07/09 gar, westmeath, ireland
Alas! A refreshing splash of colour......
28/07/09 Nicholas Xenakis, Borough, London
At last, someone has the guts to do it.
Ancient Greek

Renzo's “joyous vibrancy” comes to UK capital 

Acclaimed Italian architect Renzo Piano is to literally brighten up the lives of Londoner’s on their way to Covent Garden from Oxford Street. Aiming to bring a sense of “joyous vibrancy” to the area by Centre Point, he has proposed cladding 20 different facets of Central Saint Giles, a mixed-use development by Legal & General Property and Mitsubishi Estate Company, with red, orange, green and yellow glazed ceramic cladding.

As the cladding is installed a striking new landmark will emerge defined by dramatic facades of primary colours which at first glance appear a bold contrast to this too long neglected corner of central London.

But Piano says it is much more rewarding to look deeper: "The colour idea came from observing the sudden surprise given by brilliant colours in that part of the city. Cities should not be boring or repetitive. One of the reasons cities are so beautiful and a great idea, is that they are full of surprises, the idea of colour represents a joyful surprise."

Simon Wilkes L&G project director adds that metaphorically the area is also rich in colour - boasting a specialist shopping offering, colourful history and strong sense of community: "By creating a new heart we hope people will rediscover the St Giles area which in turn will be a catalyst for further enhancements of this corner of central London.

“We wanted to refocus people’s attention by creating a stimulating new work environment, a fantastically located area to live and a brand new piazza for central London which will be served by a unique array of dining experiences.”

Central Saint Giles will be Renzo Piano's first completed building in London and contains 400,000 sq ft of the highest specification offices with breathtaking views, 109 private and affordable apartments and 26,300 sq ft of shopping and café and restaurant space. The architect is also working on the Shard of Glass at London Bridge.

Renzo Piano Building Workshop

More projects by this architect

Jerome L. Greene Science Centre

565 Broome SoHo

Stavros Niarchos Foundation Culture Centre

Paddington development

Fondation Jérôme Seydoux-Pathé

More Projects

Latest Jobs in London

Revit Architectural Technologists

Technical Architects

Senior Architect

Reinventing Cities

Click here to view the NEWS IN PICTURES tablet site