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One New Change, London, United Kingdom

Thursday 28 Oct 2010

Change is inevitable

One New Change by Ateliers Jean Nouvel in London, United Kingdom
One New Change by Ateliers Jean Nouvel in London, United Kingdom One New Change by Ateliers Jean Nouvel in London, United Kingdom One New Change by Ateliers Jean Nouvel in London, United Kingdom One New Change by Ateliers Jean Nouvel in London, United Kingdom One New Change by Ateliers Jean Nouvel in London, United Kingdom One New Change by Ateliers Jean Nouvel in London, United Kingdom
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29/12/10 Ron West, London
Of course, I am grateful that they thought to provide a viewing platform on the roof at all.

But, since it is plainly a last-minute afterthought with 90% of anything you might want to see of London obscured by sheet metal roofing (even the bottom half of St. Pauls is hidden, despite being next-door with a wide road inbetween!), it is a grossly wasted opportunity.

If they were to spend the (proportionately tiny) extra expenditure on building a raised steel platform (with separate "up" stairs and "down" stairs to avoid congestion) that enabled visitors to see over the top of the roof in all directions, that would make all the difference.

But, since none of the wall-to-wall '101-varieties-of-coffee' type of shops below interest me either (except, perhaps Foyles bookshop), I don't have any enthusiasm to visit the building again, or to recommend anyone else to go. I suspect there are many others like me over the age of 25 who will visit the building once and feel the same way.

If they were to fix the viewing area it would make a huge difference to my opinion.
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05/11/10 Mike, Budapest
In response to Temoor, modern buildings in historic settings do not require a "toy-town" aesthetic, but do need to show understanding of solid/ void relationships (in elevation, not simply plan) and architectural scale. If they can combine this with functionality they are on the way to creating architecture, rather than mere habitable sculpture, which is what this looks like (though there are less flattering descriptions).
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03/11/10 Mike, Budapest
Unfortunately this won't be so easy to clean off the pavement/ sidewalk, but someday sense will prevail. At the very least a future generation will deconstruct (i.e. partially demolish and remodel) it into something more appropriate to its surroundings - most of us alive now won't live to see that day though. I predict that St Paul's will still be around to witness its neighbour's demise, possibly still functioning as a cathedral, as well as a "cultural landmark" and "big hit with the tourist brigade"
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02/11/10 Temoor Ahmad, Madrid
Prince Charles is about as much use as an ashtray on a motorbike. Whatever anyone thinks about this building, it doesn't justify lending any credibility to his views.

Dealing with modern buildings in a historic context is a bit more sophisticated that going to a default toy-town aesthetic i.e. Poundbury. Why are there people who are afraid of dealing with this issue? You don't see ipods disguised as gramaphones do you? Everything else progresses, fashion, travel technology etc but buildings? Oh no lets stick to what "looks nice". Whatever that means.
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02/11/10 mike, london
who said, lets put some brown on our building?
02/11/10 Bob D, Austin, TX appropriate.
02/11/10 JohnM, NY NY
In retrospect, we should have listened to Prince Charles.

Jean Nouvel’s One New Change opens today 

One of London’s most favoured cultural landmarks and regular hit with the tourist brigade, St Paul’s Cathedral, is today overshadowed by the official opening of a new neighbour – Jean Nouvel’s One New Change. The colossal mixed-use facility offers 340,000 sq ft of office space and 220,000 sq ft of retail and restaurant facilities in the historic Cheapside district in London’s city centre.

Developed by Land Securities and designed by Jean Nouvel with Sidell Gibson Architects and engineers Arup, One New Change experienced something of a rocky start. True to form, staunch traditionalist Prince Charles made his feelings towards the glass and steel hulk clear from an early stage, attempting to have Nouvel thrown off the project when he learnt of the architect’s appointment. Next came a barrage of protests from a forum of local residents brainstorming derogatory titles for the mixed use facility.

Against all the odds One New Change is due to open today at noon, its 6,000 glass panels glittering in the hazy sunshine that is London in late October. Colour has been an issue for many critics of Nouvel’s latest creation, the rusty brown hues fuelling negative reviews from online bloggers who labelled the design ‘a gigantic piece of tat’ and even ‘a turd’. These reviews have been mixed with excited retail enthusiasts who argue: “Anybody who works in the area would tell you there are too few shops in the area. If you come to Cheapside at the weekend it's dead. Not even your Prets and Starbucks are open so hopefully it will inject a bit of life.”

The hope that the internal offerings of the immense mixed use structure will be enough to silence Nouvel’s critics is a far fetched one however, as the close proximity to the 17th century iconic beauty of St Paul’s Cathedral seems a bitter pill for many to swallow.

Sian Disson
News Editor

Key Facts

Status Completed
Value 0(m€)
Ateliers Jean Nouvel

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