The £1bn "Skinny Shard": Why is this London skyscraper getting so much hate?

It’s been called “ugly”, “phallic” and an “ego trip” – London’s tallest skyscaper, the Shard, has had truckloads of criticism.

No wonder London getting another version of the marmite skyscraper is angering a lot of people.

Renzo Piano, the architect of the Shard, is designing the “Paddington Place”, a scheme that will include a 72-story tower, hundreds of homes, office and retail space, and a new public plaza.

Nicknamed the “Skinny Shard or “Paddington Pole”, the building is being strongly opposed by local residents and campaigners including the Skyline Campaign.

Barbara Weiss, co-founder of The Skyline Campaign, told the Standard: “Boroughs are waking up to how much money they can make from these huge developments. But residents are up in arms because they feel it is a totally undemocratic way of transforming their neighbourhoods.”

The other big critic of the development is iconic architect and Paddington resident Sir Terry Farrell who wrote a 1,500-word letter to Westminster Council opposing the development.

He wrote: “There is a real need for a comprehensive scheme that doesn’t miss this opportunity to make a greater difference, both to the station and to the run-down area around this part of Praed Street.”

“I have been a local resident for 15 years and have had my office here at the same local address for over 30 years. I feel passionately about improving our local mainline station and its environment in a much more comprehensive way than is shown in these proposals.”

Berkeley Homes has submitted a planning application for a mixed use scheme for West End Green which has been used as a temporary car park for the previous 30 years.

The scheme will deliver:

• 691 homes, including 158 affordable homes on site

• Ground floor commercial units offering retail shop, cafe, restaurant and gallery space

• A rooftop restaurant on the top floor of the Tower building

• A boutique cinema with an entrance on Edgware Road

• A new public piazza and outdoor seating area

• Buildings which set back from Edgware Road to create a new tree lined boulevard

• Brick and stone buildings sympathetic to setting

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Readers' comments (2)

  • It is a horrible building with zero qualities in term of proportions, mastery of the cylindrical shape, detailing, etc. One of the reasons why is such a disgrace is that is simply bling with all the vulgarity and tasteless approach that that term evokes. London deserves better. We should be creating the best architecture in the world no this abomination.

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  • Anonymous

    NIMBY
    So, Sir Terry (Not in my backyard) Farrell finally declares his true colours. Having despoiled hundreds of skylines around the world, he finally declares his true colours when the Skinny Shard is proposed in Paddington; surprise, surprise, this is where Sir Terry lives!
    Hypocrite!
    Ric
    Pleased to live close to the Tower.

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