With the property networking-fest MIPIM upon us once again, it is a good time to pause and reflect on the sheer volume of development activity in London. North, south, east and west of the capital, opportunity areas are kicking into gear, masterplans are being acted on, and offices, resi and commercial schemes are being built, as our MIPIM preview snapshot shows.
Victoria is just one such area of intense activity, with Land Securities working hard to help transform what is something of a forgotten backwater into an appealing place, rather than a clogged-up traffic hub. We profile Land Secs’ Colette O’Shea this issue, a woman with the Walkie Talkie among other key buildings on her watch. Another woman with good design high up on her list is our New Londoner this time, RIBA president Angela Brady, fresh from her successful campaigns, such as that to give proper billing to the architects who delivered London’s key Olympics buildings, on time and to budget. One of those Olympian architects, Stanton Williams, has won over 40 awards in the last two years including the Stirling Prize, so we take a look at the firm in our new ‘top of their game’ focus feature. And, if the Olympics were a timely construction boost to an economy in need of a lift, the current economic picture for the capital is the subject of another interviewee this issue – Will Hutton. Starting in this edition of New London Quarterly we take a look at what London is made of via an article on a new material each issue. The first subject is brick, with a piece by Sergison Bates, and we’ll be looking at stone next time. With infrastructure being the subject of a blockbuster exhibition at NLA later this spring, we ask experts in this area what their favoured projects might be. There is a look at the City as it responds to changing work practices, Tech City and the burgeoning insurance industry, and all the usual mix of briefing notes taken from events taking place at NLA. We venture outside the capital to see what we can learn from Bristol, with an interview with its flamboyant mayor and former RIBA president George Ferguson. And finally, with MIPIM’s international thrust in full flow, our building review this time is one of the most quintessentially internationalist – but also typically British and London schemes – the BBC’s new facilities at Portland Place. It’s a good news story that Auntie Beeb is keen to broadcast.
David Taylor, Editor