"Londoners have a very distorted view of high rises"


London's skyscraper boom continues with 119 new towers in the pipeline

Comments update: London's skyscraper boom is continuing apace, with over 100 new towers proposed in the last year, but are Londoners ready for the dramatic changes to their city? Read on for more on this and explore our comments page to keep up with the latest discussions.

The way up: new research suggests that the number of planned high-rises for London has dramatically increased despite a high-profile campaign to prevent their proliferation. Many think the skyscraper boom will destroy the fabric of London, while others see it as a solution to the city's housing crisis.

"Londoners have a very distorted view of high rises," wrote Kay. "Only by building more and more high-rises are we able to actually get rid of the ludicrous million-pound price tags."

"Once supply increases the prices goes down and rent becomes more affordable across the board," he added.

Not so, replied Jonathan who thinks the skyscrapers are only being built for the richest in society.

"None of the housing in these towers will even touch the housing crisis," added a guest commenter. Other commenters, including Michael, suggested prices would always be out of reach for ordinary Londoners because unscrupulous developers would stop building the moment house prices began to fall.

What do you think? Let us know in the comments section »

Hyperloop development

Hyperpoop? Hyperloop – a high-speed transportation network first conceived by Tesla founder Elon Musk – hit the headlines last week as a proposal was made to construct it in central Europe. Despite being excited by the news, some readers questioned the logic behind the proposed routes.

"Why on earth would you want to head from Bratislava to Budapest via Vienna?" asked a commenter calling themselves Thoughtful Skeptic. "That's like going from Washington DC to Philadelphia via NYC."

Others foresaw major changes to the future of mobility, declaring Hyperloop as the aviation industry's worst nightmare.

"This is the end of flight industry," said Ale while James described the technology as the "realisation of dreams only found before in sci-fi comic books." Read the comments on this story »

House on the cliff by Gilbartolome Architects in Granada, Spain

Cliffhanger: a cliffside house featuring a wavy zinc-covered roof quickly became one of last week's most-discussed and divisive stories.

"This is an example of where the ego of the architect trumps reason," said Chris. "With a clean facade, this could have been a poetic project, but wasting money on a weaving tile facade takes it to superficial nonsense."

"Kids will be running away screaming because of the Gaudi mountain monster," quipped Mark while regular commenter Concerned Citizen criticised the design for restricting views of the seascape.

But not everyone was put off by the wavy facade. "It's nice to see modern Spanish traditions continuing," exclaimed Peter Bessey. Other readers praised the interior spaces.

Would you have designed the cliffside house differently? Let us know in the comments section »

BIG's new Amercian football stadium for the Washington Redskins could offer abseiling, surfing and kayaking

Offensive? A day rarely seems to pass without BIG appearing on Dezeen and this week has been no exception. Bjarke Ingels' firm released its stadium design for American football team the Washington Redskins, but the debate quickly moved on to whether the firm should've taken on the project in the first place.

"It's a bit disappointing to see a firm that I admire this deeply working for such a terrible client," wrote Noah. "Not sure how one can justify working for an organisation that has chosen to retain such a divisive and damaging racial slur as a name."

"Why is the client terrible?" asked Kayleigh in response. "Is this complaint coming from a certain section of society genuinely aggrieved?"

Tom focused on the design itself, suggesting that the use of bridges as the only points of access would create bottlenecks on match days. Read the story and join the debate »

  • Simon Saunders

    The idea that building high-rises somehow “solves” the housing shortage is just ludicrous.

    1) Not a single one of these towers is filled to the gunnels with affordable housing. In fact most of them pay councils through the nose to eliminate as much low-end housing as possible and dodge the minimal responsibilities placed on them by affordable percentages legislation (itself a misnomer – “affordable” is gauged at up to £450,000. That’s 17 times’ average wage).

    2) Housing need and housing demand are not, at present, even vaguely related concepts. London housing is regarded as a safe haven for investors, meaning rich people looking to park their wealth from all over the world are buying up whatever comes on the market, which is what’s pricing actual Londoners out of the city.

    Skyscrapers are nothing more or less than a physical manifestation of the congealing personal wealth of the 1%. If London were a human body, they’d be the pustules rising from its skin, hard evidence of the damage being done by a parasitic infection.

    • James Calbraith

      Spot on. If the high-rises were supposed to solve the housing crisis, they’d need to be built like the tower blocks of the old estates – cheap and mass-produced. We don’t need any more luxury flats in central London.

      Just look at what’s being built: apartment block designed by Versace? The only problem something like that is solving is abundance of unlaundered money on offshore accounts.

  • AmmaarahF

    In all honesty, I don’t think Londoners are quite prepared for the 100+ high-rises set for construction. The dynamic of the city will change so much, and I’m not sure it’s necessarily for the better.

    For a start, high-rises are not the solution to the housing crisis, especially when the proposed designs are so elitist and non-inclusive. You have to question who exactly these buildings are being built for, because with their hefty price tags, it’s certainly not for the majority of Londoners.