Cabe critiques new Chelsea Barracks plans
Revised plans for Chelsea Barracks drawn up by Dixon Jones, Squire & Partners and Kim Wilkie Associates fail to meet the needs of the 21st century, Cabe has warned
In a design review published this week, the quango said the Qatari Diar-developed project – which was originally designed by Rogers Stirk Harbour & Partners before the firm was sacked following Prince Charles’s intervention last year – had to be “able to evolve over time like other parts of the city”.
The revised scheme – which is currently in for planning at Westminster Council – includes 363 apartments, a hotel, sports centre, retail space, and a health centre. It is inspired by London’s traditional garden squares.
Cabe said it commended the quality of the proposal and welcomed its “elongated squares”, but added that the project needed to be less formalist and more flexible in meeting the “more varied” surrounding area. It also said the proposed development was not ambitious enough in allowing for “a modern, sustainable, low-carbon lifestyle, community engagement and social interaction”.
Dixon Jones founder Ed Jones, said modern architecture was not “antipathetic” to traditional square designs.
“We hope that, in reintroducing the London square for the first time in 100 years, we can do that with a modern face rather than in fancy dress,” he said.
Jones added that “blending in” was not what made the capital interesting and characterful. “London is full of these abrupt changes in character and that is something we welcome,” he said.
In an initial report, London mayor Boris Johnson broadly welcomed the plans but called for minor changes, such as more environmental measures.