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More from Alexander Davidson

The Plastic Eggcups by Camden Lock

In this viewpoint, I tell the story of Terry Farrell & Partners’ TV-AM building (1981-83), a maverick television studios near Camden Lock. The TV-AM building, which – as the name suggests – was home to one Britain’s first breakfast television programmes, is associated with the architectural style of postmodernism and with colour in architecture and interior design. The building was substantially refurbished by architects Jacobs Webber in 2012-13 and is now home to Viacom International.

The Toilet Tower on Conduit Mews

This viewpoint focusses on a toilet tower (a series of bathrooms stacked in the shape of a helix), built as part of scheme to transform four Victorian terraced houses into student housing in Paddington, London, in the late-1960s. More specifically, how architects Nicholas Grimshaw and Terry Farrell promoted plastics in architecture on aesthetic grounds in a way which has ultimately proved to be unsustainable.

The Beddington Zero Energy Development (BedZED)

This viewpoint deals with BedZED, the most notable mixed-use sustainable community to be developed in London over the last twenty years. Develped by Bioregional and the Peabody Trust to designs by Bill Dunster Architects, BedZED was subject to significant media attention upon its completion in 2002 and no shortage of controversy. In this viewpoint, I argue that rather than being seen as good or bad, the scheme should be seen as an indication of how much our expectations regarding sustainabilty have changed over the last two decades.

More in United Kingdom

The Walls of Fortress London

London’s walls may have been built by the Romans, but when the Vikings encountered them in the tenth and eleventh centuries ‘they suffered’, as the anonymous Anglo-Saxon chronicler put it, ‘more harm and injury than they ever imagined that any town-dwellers would do to them’.