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Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Filing cabinets for people

I find many London apartment towers are simply filing cabinets for people. Don't get me wrong, lots of these buildings are fine places to live. I especially like the ones with large, indoor pools. Still, viewed from outside, there is little to see.

I did a post on the apartment complex across from The London Free Press on York Street. I recalled how the Homes section fawned over the concrete towers. I recalled how one reader took the paper to task for not recognizing East Leningrad architecture when confronting it.

With my post I ran a picture of a Leningrad apartment complex proving the reader was wrong; Leningrad architecture clearly trumps those towers. 


Since those York Street towers were built, quite a number of apartment towers have thrust their way into the skies above many London neighbourhoods. Some are more than concrete slabs, but many sport a cookie cutter look. The rule seems to be: Design once, build often.

In London one rarely feels an apartment building was constructed to take advantage of a site. One exception may be the apartment complex overlooking the Thames River on Riverside Drive at Wonderland Road.

Soon one of the most dramatic locations for an apartment building in London will be lost — Reservoir Hill. City staff are preparing geological and slope stability reports as they evaluate the site plan.


If the past is any indication, do not expect to be wowed. I live in southwest London and when I read the piece in the local paper calling the the Wonderland Road South commercial corridor a welcoming gateway into London, I groaned. 

I drive that stretch of road and it is neat and tidy with lots of box stores. It is reminiscent of suburban developments right across North America.


The paper talked of gateway apartment buildings for the area. This rang bells in my memory banks. Mississauga held a competition for a gateway apartment tower. I found a picture of the winner.

So, what will be built on Reservoir Hill? What beautiful structure will grace that historic site? Do you really believe the new tower will bring delight with sculptural creativity?















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1 comment:

  1. That turned out AMAZING! I love it, different types of huge "filing cabinet for people" and it looks absolutely beautiful... especially that twisted tower, wow!

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