Much-hated Archway tower to survive redevelopment

It is beginning to look increasingly likely that much against the wishes of the greater public, the Archway Tower will survive the development phase intact despite being voted one of the most hated buildings in London. The tower has long been a pariah am

It is beginning to look increasingly likely that much against the wishes of the greater public, the Archway Tower will survive the development phase intact despite being voted one of the most hated buildings in London.

The tower has long been a pariah among other buildings in the milieu owing to its depressingly grim facade, dark as pitch which is anathema to the vision of thousands of commuters who pass through this important traffic hub on any given day as it dominates the approaches from all sides and not even the most aesthetic of buildings constructed on either side or to its rear will detract one iota from the gloomy spectre of the tower in its unassailable position at the front.

For those optimistic that refurbishment of this abomination will work wonders, I would recommend that they pay heed to the sobering caveat propounded by Mr Giles Dolphin, Head of Planning Decisions, City Hall that any re-cladding of the much maligned tower is unlikely to mitigate the severity of its southeast and northwest facades dominting the tower's most important approaches from Holloway Road and Highgate Hill.

Furthermore if examined in depth the Mayor's choice of Scenario 2 emerges as the best option not least because it gets rid of the tower and shifts development to the south but also because it opens up long trammelled views from Highgate Hill and Holloway Road and enhances the setting of the historical environment of the listed buildings in the vicinity .i.e. The Archway Methodist Church, the Archway Pub and the Old Holborn Infirmary.


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It is regrettable that so few acknowledge that it is primarily because of the tower that there is an overwhelming perception of blight in the area and that it was the tower that sparked the need for redevelopment in the area in the first place.

Let's welcome in architecture that brings a smile to the face not a grimace.

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Walter Roberts

79 Henfield Close

London N19 3UL

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