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Ugly shed dumped in the middle of Highbury Fields

09 March, 2018

Model showing how the new building would look

• THE so-called “Improving Buildings on Highbury Fields” consultation is a fake.

No sensible council or architectural practice would allow the very considerable expenditure involved in the production of a detailed architectural model of one of the proposals if they had not already decided on this option. The rest is just window dressing.

As architects well understand, models do much more than explain a design; they are a very effective way of selling it – as is the intention here. Many of our worst buildings have come about simply because of the seductiveness of the architectural model.

Worst of all, the wrong solution has been chosen. Highbury Fields is almost perfect as it is. The job of the council is to preserve that perfection, with subtle modifications to bring it up to date.

The key word is “Fields”, which means as much green, open space as possible. The council/architect solution proposed is to dump an ugly, modernist shed in the middle of one of those precious “Fields”.

The only sensible solution is a sensitive update of the existing building. This has been effectively dismissed by the form of consultation initiated so I am not optimistic.

RICHARD LUCRAFT
N5

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