Thursday, March 22, 2012

Convoys Wharf: Time to show Aedas the door

"This is how the German Democratic Republic would have looked if their economie (sic) had worked." Fenster Grau

Herr Grau's remarks posted on a Building Design article (registration required) does a good job of nailing Aedas's 'artist's impression' of how they might develop Convoy's Wharf.

However if you look at the Aedas, sorry Aedas | Global Award Winning Architects website and follow the Our works and then Selected projects tabs you may well be struck by the fact that you have to read the text to figure out where in the world any of these projects are. There is no regard whatsoever for local tradition or culture. If you were blindfolded and taken to an Aedas development then when your blindfold was removed you would be unlikely to know whether you were in the northern or southern hemisphere, the orient or occident, an Islamic republic, a western democracy or a dictatorship.

It is perhaps understandable why countries that have only had money in recent decades such as oil producers since the 1974 OPEC oil price hike or the People's Republic of China since they (more recently) allowed a form of capitalism to flourish might see what Aedas do as aspirational. In such countries their work may well be seen as being just like the rich west.

On a site steeped in as much history as Convoys Wharf their (paucity of) ideas are exposed. Not only are we entitled to something better, future generations would despise us if we failed to fight for it.

In a previous post I pondered just what purpose Sir Terry Farrell's intervention is supposed to achieve. I still wonder, but last night somebody reminded me that he worked for Hutchison Whampoa on their highly controversial Lots Road scheme straddling both the RB Kensington & Chelsea and LB Hammersmith & Fulham.

If you have not already signed up for the Convoys Wharf Community Consultation day on Saturday 24 March do so now :

PLEASE NOTE: The site can be dusty and muddy depending on the
weather, so please bring appropriate footwear and clothing.

11.00 Exhibition opens

11.15 – 12.15 Site and archaeological tour opportunity 1

12.15 – 14.15
Welcome from Hutchison Whampoa, followed by speeches and presentations, including Joan Ruddock MP, Sir Terry Farrell and colleagues, and local community groups.

The presentations will be followed by question and answer opportunities and refreshments will be provided during the two-hour period.

PLEASE NOTE: If you want to take a full part in these sessions, please arrive promptly at noon. Register for one of the site tours on arrival.

14.15 – 15.15 Site and archaeological tour opportunity 2

16.00 Exhibition closes

For further information and to confirm attendance please call 0845 460 6011 or email

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