Placemaking is a term often bandied about without much in the way of definition or qualification. But a number of features in this issue of NLQ seek to put some flesh on the bones of the concept – at least from the perspective of those who are using them, and at most for the benefit of the wider capital.
Our New Londoner of theYear for 2014 is Roger Madelin, who has presided over perhaps the poster-boy area for this phenomenon in action over the past few years and into the near future. King’s Cross draws on some of the principles Argent first espoused for Brindleyplace, and importantly, followed through by actually putting them into practice in the Birmingham project. Richard Upton, meanwhile, comes from a different kind of developer in Cathedral, but one which, following its merger with Development Securities, is now adding financial muscle to its cherished principles of innovative, attractive and viable placemaking. Both men are profiled in this issue.
An aid to such successful schemes, of course, is accessibility and infrastructure, the kind of which King’s Cross has in spades. Joanna Lumley, another interviewee this issue, is the figurehead for another key piece of infrastructure for the city – the Garden Bridge – and tells of how it can provide a beautifying piece of ‘make up’ for the capital. Finally on the profile front, Richard Blakeway is another who hopes that placemaking can be placed at the heart of a London grappling with a housing crisis. And via an opinion piece this time, Berkeley is seeking to add another dimension into the placemaking equation with its research into how much happiness its schemes are instilling.
Elsewhere in this issue we look at Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands, a practice entering a different phase and now at the top of its game; we take a trip up Wembley Way to review Hopkins’ Brent Civic Centre scheme; and our 20th issue of NLQ also has the usual mix of opinion pieces, capital ideas, news and views, as well as our tweaked briefing notes section covering all the key events at the NLA. It is, we hope, the place to be.
Enjoy the issue.
David Taylor, Editor