City planning boss calls for ‘calmer’ Square Mile skyline

Carolyn Dwyer says the corporation will tend towards more ‘harmonious architecture’ in future

The director of the built environment at the City of London Corporation has said she wants to see less glitzy buildings go up in the Square Mile in future.

Carolyn Dwyer (pictured) was appointed two years ago as director of the built environment at the Corporation of London, the City’s local authority. She took the job after Peter Rees stepped down as the City’s chief planning officer three years ago. He had backed Rafael Viñoly’s controversial Walkie Talkie skyscraper built by Canary Wharf Contractors.

Dwyer said the corporation wants to see “slightly calmer and more harmonious architecture” in future.

She added: “We have to have architecture of the best possible quality that delivers for 21st-century needs, but every piece doesn’t need to be a stand-out landmark building. We are not developing individual tower blocks that stand alone on the skyline; we are developing a cluster of buildings that will have to respect each other.

“We are very keen to maintain the high standards of building in the City and we believe we have.”

Dwyer said she was a fan of Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners’ Cheesegrater at 122 Leadenhall Street, built by Laing O’Rourke. “It’s an elegant and beautiful building but quite sparse, it doesn’t have any bells and whistles,” she said. Dwyer also lavished praise on Foster + Partners’ new European HQ for Bloomberg, due to open in the autumn and being built by Sir Robert McAlpine, saying: “It will be one of the most beautiful buildings in London.”

A number of new towers are slated for the City, including Eric Parry’s 73-storey tower at 1 Undershaft, granted planning last November.

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