The wider aim over the next four years is to convert Cheapside, which currently has no life at night, into a busy shopping area with a proposed 167 new shops increasing the original shopping environment by 44%. If approved this building, known as 5 Cheapside would sit alongside the newly renovated Paternoster Square and would become part of a vast new development scheme for the area intended to equip it with high street shops and new office space to service the growing population of City workers and the tourist impact of the 2012 London Olympics.
It was always going to be controversial, building adjacent to the “Holy Grail” of London architecture, Wren’s St Paul’s Cathedral. It hasn’t disappointed.
McAslan, dubbed the ‘glass and steel man’ by Prince Charles, the UK’s self appointed defender of traditional architecture has proposed this all glass building to flank St Pauls. Despite having won the approval of English heritage the building faces a long and controversial campaign with traditionalist critics wanting a return to classical proportions. Critics including Jonathan Foyle of the World Monuments Fund fears the sheer edges of the blueprints will translate into “boring flatness”.