The only way is up?

The rise and rise of London’s tall buildings casts into sharp focus the debate around London’s housing crisis and the preservation of its historic character. “What we can’t do is impose some kind of freeze on the skyline and suspend the capital in stasis”. So said Sir Edward Lister, Deputy Mayor for Policy and Planning,…

Renovation as art

Few outside the world of contemporary art will have heard of Theaster Gates but this Chicago native has managed to fuse together art and building renovation. Included in the Art Review’s ‘Power 100’ list of most influential artists of 2013, Gates’ has made a name for himself as a socially aware artist-cum-property developer. The roofer’s son has…

New hope for an old barn?

Langley Farm, situated on the outskirts of Harefield, a village on the extreme north-west rim of Greater London, is for the most part a complex of 19th century buildings, now abandoned to the elements and the brick robbers. It’s one of a number of farms dotted around the area, mostly livery stables, kennels and scrap…

New proposal challenges Smithfield demolition plan

Urban Space Management (USM) yesterday submitted a proposal for a 90-year lease on London’s Smithfield General Market based on a business model that will bring the Victorian buildings back into use without the need for demolition. The developer’s proposal challenges the current plan put forward by Henderson Global Investment, which proposes to replace the the…

Westminster publishes heritage retrofit guides

Last month HB Digest reported that English Heritage was looking for heritage buildings in Soho as low carbon retrofit case studies. This area of London’s West End is packed with historic buildings, including Georgian terraces, which contribute to Westminster’s carbon footprint, one of the highest in the country. So if the footprint can be reduced…

EH launches Guide to Heritage Protection

English Heritage’s online compendium, aimed at owners, developers and local authorities, summarises all the law, policy and guidance that exist to protect England’s historic areas, sites, buildings and monuments. It includes information on everything from designation of conservation areas and complying with building regs, to grants for owners and forthcoming changes to planning law. It…