A new block of flats facing the Thames recently completed in Greenwich and with hoardings removed, I took at trip to see how it looked.
London and Quadrant are behind the block with homes selling for up to £1 million. For such a prime site in a Word Heritage area the final finish is pretty poor. Panels on the exterior have odd gaps and attention to detail is lacking.
Pictures don’t exactly get across the variation in panel gaps across the facade and how they meet the paving. Not elegant design.
It used to be said you could tell the quality of a new car by the exterior panels. Shoddy cars would have large and inconstant panel gaps. Nowadays pretty much every car has tiny, consistent gaps. Walking here brought that thought straight to mind.
Yes, yes, I’m not saying automated car production and new buildings are the same – but it does denote attention to detail and quality of production.
It’s not exactly a looker – though adjacent development may hide some of the grey plastic-looking cladding.
There’s also the public realm; is tarmac instead of paving slabs the best they could do in such an area?
At first I thought it was due to a cycle lane turning away from the river, but when on the adjacent path there’s no sign of that. It appears the cheap option has been taken and this is a standard footway.
There’s also little in the way of greenery here and the street retains car parking along both sides. Some electric charging points were however in place.
Greenwich Council, being Greenwich, appear to have insisted on guardrail:
No idea why it’s there but Greenwich like to install them despite the rest of the world moving the other way. See my recent post on road changes nearby on Creek Road. They said nothing about losing a bus lane and slower bus journeys in a consultation response but commented on retaining guardrail – even when proven to be dangerous.
A good example of such thinking is located beside this development. The authority installed railings at all four approaches to a junction after a pedestrian was hit by a car.
Instead of restricting vehicles in the area which would have assisted pedestrians, they installed railings which then forced pedestrians to walk in the road as car parking blocked crossings where railings ended. A “safety” measure which actually increased danger.
They have finally been removed.
But a few metres along and anti-pedestrian design appears again. More obstacles this time for those in wheelchairs and buggies.
This clumsy attempt to stop mopeds or cycles is negated by the fact that anyone on a moped could easily use other areas here, and hampering all people in wheelchairs and parents with buggies on the off chance a moped may ride here is simply stupid.
The way to solve moped issue is not to make life difficult for the disabled, elderly, wheelchair uses and other vulnerable pedestrians. And unless they install obstacles like this every 10 metres it solves nothing with moped use.
So is this development worthy of a world heritage site? A cheap looking building and minimal public realm work suggests not. L&Q havn’t excelled with a cheap finish to the building and I do hate criticising Greenwich Council for doing so little with surrounding public realm. I really do wish I could praise them far more but they are just so poor in so many ways. I will chalk up electric charging points and removing guardrail at the adjacent junction as positives, but really, must do better.