send the Dame your information, discretion assured.
Comments are welcome but do not necessarily reflect the view of the Dame.
Offensive/inappropriate comments will be deleted and the poster banned.

Thursday, 26 July 2012


The Earls Court Society are not happy about this ugly looking building proposed for 125 Old Brompton Rd. And looking at the picture there is no great surprise: it is a cheap, crass intrusion.
There is an excellent comment from Jonathan Choat and a very 'to the point' reply to Jessica from Peter Harris.


Dear Jessica,

Your reply sounds straight as if it came from the PR company “Perfect Curve” of 20/12 fame. You don’t seem to have read our email.
If you mean by pastiche a building similar to that of the local architectural style, then Yes, we would like a 19th century look to the fa├žade. If you mean by “Modern” the 1970’s retro look of your new design, then you are miss-using the word “modern”. There is nothing to associate your new design with the 21st century, other than you plan to build it now.

Yes, the dimensions respond to the 20th century building next door but that is about all. Red tiles are not red brick and have no association in the area.

If you mean by consultation that you ask people from the local area what they think and then completely ignore them. Then it sounds like a bit of PR in order to get a bad design past planning.

This is, in our opinion, a badly designed retro building with little to commend it. In fact, the present building is a far superior design and does actually use brick to match with local buildings. It just needs a clean.

Please let me know when you submit your plans to Kensington & Chelsea council.


Peter Harris

On behalf of “The Earl’s Court Society”,
Kempsford Gardens Residents Association,
29 Kempsford Gardens,
London SW5  9LA.  
Tel: 0207 373 2915   Mobile: 07930 536 818

From: Jessica Stewart
Subject: Re: Digital copy of the newsletter for Glen House proposals

Dear Peter,

Thank you for your e-mail regarding the proposals for 125 Old Brompton Road. We've noted your comments and will consider them within the consultation process, but would also like to clarify our own architectural approach.

The architectural aims of the proposals are to provide a 21st-century answer to the local context. I'm sure you'll agree that a pastiche of Georgian or Victorian styles would not be appropriate, but that a modern interpretation is required.

To that end, the panels are a soft red and buff mottled glazed terracotta, to reflect the brickwork of local buildings. Each panel is individually hand-glazed and fired, which creates colour and texture variation to add character.

The building's location makes it independent enough of other buildings to make an architectural statement, while also responding to nearby norms.

Again, we would agree that the building does not look Georgian or Victorian, like other buildings that were built in those periods. However, it does respond to its neighbours in height, massing, colours, geometry and some defining materials.

Obviously this type of issue is subject to preference and interpretation, but we wanted to ensure you understood our approach. Please let me know if you have any further questions.

Best regards,
Jessica Stewart.


. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Jessica Stewart
020 7036 3525


Local Dialogue | 136-148 Tooley Street | London | SE1 2TU
This email and any files transmitted with it are confidential. It is intended for use by the addressee only and any dissemination,
distribution, copying or use without prior permission of the sender is strictly prohibited.  If you have received this email in error,
please accept our apologies, delete it immediately and notify the sender.


  1. Dear All,

    How interesting, but inevitably self serving , that developers and architects aspire to the idea that they are creating a ‘modern interpretation’ of an already appallingly unattractive, slab like block which was designed during the earlier phase of the Lego School of architecture , which has dominated this once proud and inventive profession since the 1950’s and is noted for its poverty of imagination and sterility of designs . Alas this seems to be still the case . The contemporary architectural arrogance of sneering at Pastiche , when the whole attraction of RBKC is an efflux of varying styles, all pastiches of something or other, is astounding. Who would ever admire or want to look at a streetscape of Lego build blocks from these same, cutting edge of taste architects?

    The proposed refurbished building , despite its romantically described ‘soft red and buff mottled glazed terracotta, to reflect the brickwork of local buildings ( with ) each panel is individually hand-glazed and fired, which creates colour and texture variation to add character’, is , very typically , just large blank slabs of a colour, ( an ‘architectural statement’ – oh dear!) without relief and without any character – even in contrast to the adjacent ‘modern’ blocks which at least have balconies and the subtle texture of brick work. If this were a design for a modern prison it would be commendable – bright , confident , socially advanced, unimpeachably boring and patently secure – but somewhere else please .

    It is with regret that one has to regard the planning committee of RBKC as both passive and even compliant with the vulgarities of modern architecture which they inflict with aplomb, in both huge and smaller developments, all over this fair Borough, with a degree of tastelessness worthy of Canary Wharf .

    Yours sincerely

    Jonathan Choat

  2. Of course the two planning committees must shoulder part of the responsibility for the lack of interest in preserving the environment of Kensington and Chelsea. But the Leader of the Council has no interest in the planning process other than to ensure that it does not interfere with his self-agrandisement. The planning department is the major problem. Any applicant with money can scare them into accepting the unacceptable under the threat of an award of costs at appeal and then convincing a committee of amateurs that their view has to be accepted. Kensington Society has battled long and hard to preserve Kensington for future generations, often it has appeared that the main objective of the planning department has been to thwart their efforts.

  3. Dear All, The fact of the matter is that architectural design and planning affects everyone's welfare by creating the environments around us, impacting our collective quality of life. It makes complete common sense, therefore, for architects and planners to reflect this absolute fact by participating in broadscale local community engagement and seriously taking into consideration collective local feedback. Not to do so - and to go ahead regardless - displays not only an irresponsible arrogance, but perpetuates the public's negative image of Architects (and supportive planners) that they are simply furthering self-interest, furthering artistic recognition within the profession, and serving the interests of clients, a small sliver of the population, where budgets may be large or small; but where small budgets invariably involve cost cutting and cheapness hidden behind eloquent marketing and buzz words. Certainly, with such a "we're going ahead anyway" attitude, the local public interest is not taken into consideration, and that is also absolute fact.

    In many ways all this could be related to public health, which was created to serve the public interest rather than private clinics that served just a few clients. Architects and planners would do well to reflect on this. Actually, they may not have a choice: the contsruction sector is hardly moving (outside of the Olympics) due to the economic down turn over the past few years, and, as I understand it, unemployment among newly qualified graduates is high at around 14%.

    The message is clear. Listen to the local community and reflect their voices, their feelings and welfare! These people have a real understanding of the importance of the local historic uniqueness and consistency in the local buildings that so many other people are able to enjoy when they choose to visit these parts of London. It may mean swallowing pride and going back to the drawing board; it may mean finding the strength not to sell one's soul to cost cutting budgets; and it may mean having to feel irritated for a while, especially if there would have been selfish bonuses involved. Read the first sentence again, and do what most 'normal' people would consider ethical and that which makes moral common sense - by considering the impact on everyone's welfare, especially those who have voiced it.

    Best Regards, Justin Senior (former tenant, Earl's Court).

  4. If you stand up to the planners and the Council they will come and try and crush you- just ask the Lancaster West community and the imposition of KALC.


Comments are your responsibility. Anyone posting inappropriate comments shall have their comment removed and will be banned from posting in future. Your IP address may also be recorded and reported. Persistent abuse shall mean comments will be severely restricted in future.