The City of London death star has been neutralised.
In case you’re wondering which death star, as though you might have missed such a thing in the City, I’m of course talking about the Walkie Talkie building (or, 20 Fenchurch Street to be exact).
And no, Luke Skywalker and Hans Solo weren’t involved in the saving of the free world (more’s the pity). Rather, a massive sunshade which is being placed over the windows to stop it ‘allegedly’ creating rays of sunshine and melting parked cars (well, a piece of a tyre) and the welcome mat of a nearby barber’s shop. It’s not quite what Darth Vader had in mind, but apparently, the sun’s glare from the buildings were creating quite a warm feeling in the neighbourhood.
Developer Land Securities has won planning permission for what’s known in that neck of the woods as a “brise soleil.” I think that’s French for sun shade.
I spied it the other day whilst loitering around the odd building which houses the Mayor of London on the Southbank.
I have to say I was reminded more of a Scaletrix control than a Walkie Talkie, and wondered if it didn’t look just a little ugly and in your face. Same goes for the Cheese Grater, or whatever they call that tall building behind it.
You have to be wary of first impressions though. The immediate urge to scream has to be fought, because over time, these buildings tend to blend in and have a beauty all their own. Remember the reaction to the Gherkin when it first went up? It is a truly beautiful building though.
Now as for the Shard, that is something wondrous and right from the start, it has a sense of style that adds to the location, rather than detracts from it. But, there are plenty lining up to say different, calling the Shard a waste of space.
For now, however, the evil empire has been crushed.
But somewhere, in a far-off galaxy, another building is being planned….(cue Star Wars music).