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one new change

One New Change – Jean Nouvel
This is a new shopping complex located to the east of St. Paul’s cathedral.  The fragmented geometry and proximity to London’s most cherished landmark has made it a controversial project.  The building defers to St. Paul’s through a ‘gash’ that aligns with the cathedral and leads to the outdoor elevator core.  These internal spaces are open to the sky and the mall itself is an exterior space.  The fragmented geometry continues inside on the ceilings and floor openings making for a dynamic interesting space.  The brown colour seems to be an attempt to contextualize and blend into the fabric of the City.  However, the dark tone instead makes it feel more ominous and emphasizes its difference – not helped by the fact that, once again, the perimeter is detached from its context with no shop fronts.  TIme and again I am encountering large prominent projects that turn their backs to the city in order to make controlled ‘secure retail experiences’.  I think this subject will deserve a separate rant … I mean post.

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