Clowns & Jokers

Stuck in the middle.... Left, right, centre. It's a mess out there.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Changing London

At the London Developments website two skyscraper projects have cleared planning approval and are set for go ahead - images pictured below...

The Bishopsgate Tower

The nickname of this impressive twisty commercial number is "the Helter Skelter" and was inspired by stupid names other London skyscrapers have ...such as the Gherkin. The building is designed to accomodate 8,124 workers. Despite this it only has 6 parking spaces, all of which are for the disabled! Still it looks impressive. It dwarfs St Pauls but St Pauls still looks magnificent...


The architect conceived the above tower, for London Bridge, as a huge spire reminiscent of the London captured by Canaletto.

The tapering spire helps reduce the profile making it smaller on the skyline whilst the large bottom of the tower gives the surrounding London streets a real landmark of size. The nickname, "the sharf of glass", was originally coined by English Heritage who tried to use it as an insult. Ironically it has stuck and is now used by the developer in marketing.

It will be 305 metres tall and completed in 2010, replete with open public viewing gallery, the tallest in Europe at 243.8 metres up the tower, it is expected to receive 2 million visitors a year...I love it!

Also at the same website in the low rise section... is that proposed mosque (the image wont load onto blogger) but you'll all have seen it and can read more here.

It hasnt started the planning process yet but is fraught with controversy.

Described as a sprawling complex, the dodgy sounding backers, Tablighi Jamaat, hope it will accommodate up to 40,000 worshippers at any one time...this represents an unprecedented amount for any place of worship in the country....and in fact the whole of Europe. Compare this with the largest mosque in the world which accommodates some 100 000 worshippers. Meanwhile, of course, you would struggle to find a christian/any other place of worhsip in an islamic country. This isnt what i imagined when i thought of much needed development and investment in this part of London. The 'mosque' will totally transform the East End.

My father was born in West Ham. He was here in London recently to catch up with family over from the US. I loved hearing all the stories he had to tell about this area. My Polish grandmother coming to London making a home, lost looking Polish airmen here for their part in the Battle of Britain..my dad the only kid in school to be wearing what must have been an American baseball kit/outfit which our family in the US sent over....along with 10 other kits... to cheer up and try to provide for a small set of East End kids in the local school football team. The odd shiny sports gear was the talk of West Ham. OK , all very sentimental stories admittedly in this context... but i just cant imagine the effect this will have on a mixed area well known for welcoming all peoples. It will become nothing less than a vast self contained Islamic community, a state within a state.

How does this fit in with Reid's speech where he made it clear there would be no 'muslim only' areas in Britain?? It doesnt. The proposal is ludicrous... but then again so is our mayor.

The plans have yet to get through planning and as the design site notes...'Any large mosque is bound to be controversial amongst many locals, but this will be even more so thanks to the football stadium-like capacity it can hold, an issue that numerous public inquiries have been fought over in the past. Whether such a large project can actually get through the planning system remains to be seen'.

I hate the idea that the panoromic view of the east end of London in 2012 will be dominated by a single religious symbol and some sprawling odd looking misplaced design at that... a symbol that wreaks of attempts to divide a community.

5 Comments:

At Wednesday, 04 October, 2006, Anonymous Maggie said...

I utterly loath and despise the idea of a mosque in West Ham of the size indicated. Why so big, I only ever see 50% of the moslem population attending mosques. Have never seen a woman on her way to pray. Do you think Saudi Arabia would allow a large christan church to be built on their land...on yer bike.

Loved the other new land marks Alison..thanks for the info.

 
At Wednesday, 04 October, 2006, Anonymous Maggie said...

come on you lefty/liberal or not bunch out there reading this blog. Write an opinion for the love of god, or are you all happy to go along with this architectural piece of Londinistan.

 
At Wednesday, 04 October, 2006, Blogger Wolfie said...

Its a bloody invasion. Grrrr.

 
At Thursday, 05 October, 2006, Blogger Tom Tyler said...

The only possible good thing about having a mosque of this size, as far as I can see, is that it would be easier for MI5 to bug one mosque and keep tabs on 50,000 potential terror suspects from one location than from hundreds of separate mosques. I don't want this monstrosity to go ahead at all, but if it has to get built, then I hope it has more bugs in it than GCHQ, and that 1 in 50 people inside it is an MI5 officer at any given moment.

 
At Saturday, 07 October, 2006, Anonymous Steve E17 said...

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