Us & Them

by Zbigniew

“And as more of what used to belong to ‘us’ was sold off and developed by ‘them’, the hunger for floorplates and square footage and award-winning design and river views became insatiable. If they ran out of land to build on, no problem. They would now literally monetise thin air. The principle of ‘air rights’ development in London was nailed by architect Terry Farrell’s Embankment Place. A client could commission a great design saturated with Farrell’s trademark postmodern wave-it-through-planning magic, acquire the air rights above Charing Cross station and whack a massive office block on the roof. Ingenious. A private incubus squatting on an anaesthetised public space.”

Ian Martin, “The city that privatized itself to death,” The Guardian