Lloyd’s of London
Lloyd’s new building dates from 1986 and is commonly listed as one of London’s most magnificent pieces of modern architecture. Along with the Pompidou Center in Paris, it’s a one-of-a-kind kind building, and is intriguing because of that. However, with only minor changes at the ground floor, the building could have been truly interesting to both building users and passers-by. Being able to view the ground floor from the sidewalk would be wonderful. And for the ground floor uses to more accessible would help enormously for this unusual building to fit into the city.
This could be a wonderful example of modern architecture, if it only had more accessible uses at the ground level and better views into the ground floor activities, which could all make for a very lively base feeding into the Leadenhall Market. It’s fun and memorable to see the guts of a building all on show right before your eyes.
One wants to like this complex that attempts to copy New York’s Rockefeller Center. As a recent development (1985-1991) it tries hard to please. It has many of the makings of a quality office complex, but it is disjointed and fussy where it could be simple and connected. Arcades obscure the retail; art and water features are not well integrated, more of the “look but don’t touch” variety. The skating rink area has so many levels that it’s hard to know where you really are, or where you want to be.
Berwick Street Market
This is a very small and insignificant market in a rough and messy area. However, it sits in the middle of the West End. At present it seems to be used mostly by local residents and office workers. It is known to be very cheap but good quality. With some improvement to management, appearance and product offering, this small market could add vitality and help bring up this area. An opportunity waiting to be taken advantage of.
This is a wonderful, vast open space, originally designed for horseback riding, waiting to become the best park in the world. It has probably the largest open field of any urban park and in a recent walk across the entire length, we felt so glad and relieved to get to the other side. Looking at and drawing from the extraordinary models of Central Park and Prospect Park in New York and Brooklyn, respectively, as models for Hyde Park, could give a whole new opportunity to a great city.
Regent’s Park is similar to Hyde Park, but is in a more residential area and could be an even greater asset to the families and visitors that could take advantage of its many possibilities.