Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Building in the City

On the bike, and down to the City. At the Royal Bank of Scotland’s headquarters, close by Hawksmoor’s Christ Church in Spitalfields, you can sense the squirming inside as they try to justify giving themselves the usual bonuses for – for what exactly? For doing so badly that it is now effectively nationally owned. Its former chiefs, and those of the equally unsuccessful HBOS, have just been quizzed by the Commons Treasury Committee. I don't get the idea they have lost too much sleep about things.

The new buildings still go up, too. The Pinnacle (barely above the ground but promising 63 floors), Heron Tower (36 floors), St Botolph’s (a piddling dozen or so floors)... all add up to more than enough office space for the city. Another site close to Spitalfields (and near the cheerfully named Frying Pan Alley), currently up to 25 floors and rising, is for student accommodation. This is more like it, surely? Who is rushing to get office space in the City at the moment?

Saturday, 7 February 2009


St Pancras railway station, gateway to Europe, and bits of England.