From The Murky Depths

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Lewisham

Visiting Lewisham’s Carbuncle Cup contender

Lewisham Gateway towers have been nominated for this years Carbuncle Cup. I thought I’d pop down to see the state of play.

No one can miss these blocks. The fourth of four towers by the station is now approaching completion directly beside the platforms.

View from Lewisham station

What’s gone up will not will many awards for creativity. It’s all quite dull, and the heavy dark brick of two towers tends to suck the life out of the area.

The entrance to the development doesn’t exactly life the spirits when exiting the station. It’s an empty space devoid of much interest:

The two towers with lighter cladding are not so bad though are dead at street level.

It’s a bit early to judge how public realm further into the development will appear given the spot beside the river has yet to be completed:

Looking through to future riverside area

The next stage has seen much negotiation and was initially rejected for zero “affordable” housing. Revisions are being made.

It’s a vast plot (as seen above) that formerly housed the giant roundabout, and if people think stage 1 is bad, stage 2 could be worse. Slabs lining the road is the name of the game:

A worthy winner of the award? Not sure about that, at least in terms of the buildings. Dull as they are, Stage 1 isn’t awful. It’s more than the architecture though, but what it represents.

These blocks and space around the site is the first introduction to Lewisham for visitors. It’s a once in a 50 year scheme to transform a major town. And on that front, something so anondyne is a real failure.

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1 Comment

  1. Brian

    Absolutely. There is no entrance to Lewisham town centre which the term Gateway implies. The visitor is left to negotiate a 6 lane crossing in less then 15 seconds to be greeted by a huge blank brick wall. This doesn’t look like regeneration

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