Urban character is frequently cited by planners, developers and architects as something they wish to protect and enhance. But little or no effort is ever made to define urban character in specific or quantitative terms.
In Designing London, architect and critic Ike Ijeh provides a definitive and comprehensive analysis of London's urban character. He establishes key principles by which the architecture of the capital's streets, buildings and spaces can be designed to enhance the character of the city. He first identifies and analyses the constituent physical, social and environmental ingredients that form London's urban character and reviews the architectural, historic and planning context within which these ingredients operate. Then, through case studies of recent and proposed architectural projects, he discusses examples of how London's character has either been undermined or enhanced. Ultimately, the book emphasises the enormous value of London's unique urban character and encourages greater understanding and awareness of how that character is directly affected by architectural design decisions.
Part I: Defining London's Character
Chapter 1: London Falling ' The Collapse of Character
Chapter 2: Human Capital
Chapter 3: Character Development
Chapter 4: The Unplanned City
Chapter 5: Tall Storeys ' Height vs Heritage
Part II: Protecting London's CharacterA step-by-step breakdown of all the constituent physical, social and environmental elements that combine to form London's urban character.
Part III: Enhancing London's Character Case Studies include:10 Examples of Character Undermined - Nova Victoria (PLP/Benson & Forsyth) - 20 Fenchurch Street (Rafael Vinoly) - 5 Broadgate (Make) - One Blackfriars (Simpson Haugh) - Battersea & Vauxhall Developments (various) - One New Change (Jean Nouvel) - The Monument Building (Make) - ME London Hotel (Foster + Partners) - 22 Bishopsgate (PLP) - Nido Spitalfields (TP Bennett)10 Examples of Character Enhanced - King's Cross Central (various) - Chichester Rents (ORMS) - St. Dunstan's Court (David Walker) - 10 Hills Place (Amanda Levete) - 1 Cartwright Gardens (Maccreanor Lavington) - LSE Swee Hock Student Centre (O'Donnell + Tuomey) - St. Martin's Courtyard (Smith Caradoc-Hodgkins/MR Partnership) - Worland Gardens (Peter Barber) - Newport Street Gallery (Caruso St. John) - Exhibition Road (Dixon Jones)