City Planning Chief wants Less Glitzy Architecture


Carolyn Dwyer says the corporation will tend towards more ‘harmonious architecture’ in future

The head of planning at the City of London Corporation has said she wants to see less glitzy buildings go up in the Square Mile in future.

Carolyn Dwyer (pictured) was appointed two years ago as director of the built environment at the Corporation of London, the City’s local authority. She took the job after Peter Rees stepped down as the City’s chief planning officer three years ago. He had backed Rafael Viñoly’s controversial Walkie Talkie skyscraper built by Canary Wharf Contractors.

Dwyer said the corporation wants to see “slightly calmer and more harmonious architecture” in future.

She added: “We have to have architecture of the best possible quality that delivers for 21st-century needs, but every piece doesn’t need to be a stand-out landmark building. We are not developing individual tower blocks that stand alone on the skyline; we are developing a cluster of buildings that will have to respect each other.

“We are very keen to maintain the high standards of building in the City and we believe we have.”

Dwyer said she was a fan of Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners’ Cheesegrater at 122 Leadenhall Street, built by Laing O’Rourke. “It’s an elegant and beautiful building but quite sparse, it doesn’t have any bells and whistles,” she said. Dwyer also lavished praise on Foster + Partners’ new European HQ for Bloomberg, due to open in the autumn and being built by Sir Robert McAlpine, saying: “It will be one of the most beautiful buildings in London.”

A number of new towers are slated for the City, including Eric Parry’s 73-storey tower at 1 Undershaft, granted planning last November.


One thought on “City Planning Chief wants Less Glitzy Architecture

  1. Reblogged this on Roger Gambba-Jones and commented:
    Good luck with trying to prevent architects from convincing their clients that their project needs to outdo the one built just before it.
    Just like the recent comments by others, that the heart of London is being overwhelmed by sky scrapers, shiny vanity projects seem to be the order of the day for those wishing to squeeze the maximum floor space into their high priced piece of inner London.
    So whilst the well-heeled residents are busy digging down to get more space from their investment – being a home seems to be secondary, most have several – the commercial sector are wrecking the historic London skyline all in the name of profit.
    Although we should be justifiably worried about destroying the environment and the planet with it for future generations, we also need to protect what we value closer to home for our future citizens.

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