MIPIM – the property networking festival, international investment
jamboree, or jolly on the Riviera, depending on your position – is 25
years old this year. Love it or hate it,the event is nothing if not enduring,
and offers the opportunity to meet much of the world’s development
‘community’, all in one place.
But aside from the perspective of the individual developer keen to talk to financiers, designers and public officials, the show has also been a major force for cities keen to push their particular merits on the world stage. And London is no different, having blazed a trail in
this regard with its own collective, and contributing fully to MIPIM’s success as a pull for business today.
This issue traces some of that history, and of the 25-year
anniversaries of two practices – Patel Taylor and AHMM – who also chose to bravely set up in the teeth of recession, along with a look forward to the London Stand this time out. Part of that picture will be of a city turning to the tall building as a way of dealing with issues of space, rapid growth and status. In the run-up to a blockbuster exhibition at NLA later this year, we profile one of the key exponents of the art, Ian Simpson, and his drive to get more involved in the capital, beyond his One Blackfriars tower. There is also a viewpoint section in which we ask whether London has the right kind of tall buildings policy for the city in changing circumstances. And in our building review this quarter we take a look at one of the key new tall buildings in the new City cluster –
The Leadenhall Building designed by Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners for British Land and Oxford Properties. Rogers is also involved as part of the LSE’s impressive programme of revitalisation of its property.
Our New Londoner in this issue is the LSE’s Julian Robinson, who talks among other things about the new student centre designed by O’Donnell + Tuomey that is destined for some major prizes this year. There is plenty more besides, of course – a look at the Farrell Review from the writers themselves, keen to establish an annual festival of architecture in London; a study on the use of timber in the capital by dRMM; an appraisal of the scope for the London elections by London Communications Agency; an analysis of the prospects of Rational House to come to the aid of a big hole in residential needs; and a property directory that we have redesigned into new areas and interests to better suit the needs of a changing London. There’s also an idea for a floating house that might well get some mileage given the rainfall the UK has suffered over recent months – but which those going to MIPIM might hope they have left behind.
David Taylor, Editor