Lunchtime in the City of London and office workers relax within the atrium of Broadgate Circus. A big screen relays live action from Wimbledon, as Andy Murray takes on Richard Gasquet.
There's an animated hum amidst the glazed towers and greenery which, flowing over the upper balconies of the central arena, faintly recalls the affection of Londoners for traditional garden squares.
The Broadgate complex, however, is not yet 30 years old. Despite being a rare and successful 1980s example of corporate development which also allocated generous amounts of public space, the recent decision by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) to reject a listing recommendation from English Heritage clears the way for its demolition and replacement by a new £850m office development. The action has dismayed conservationists, many expressing shock at the suddenness of the announcement, pre-empting any chance of a public enquiry. While English Heritage has acknowledged the pressure from commercial interests in a difficult economic climate, it refutes suggestions that such listing would have stunted investment and has attacked the "two- faced" attitude of the City in hailing its new buildings, only to later claim them to be worthless.
thanks to: The Indipendent