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"Use every man after his desert, and who should 'scape whipping?"

Monday, 3 February 2014

Nine Elms disease part 3 : a plague on all your houses!

It is spreading slowly, like a stain or a slick of vomit, along the south bank of the Thames between Vauxhall and Chelsea bridges.

Bad metaphors, though - a least stains are more or less flat. The skeletal buildings that are sticking their nasty lift-shafts into the air along the Nine Elms shore are simply not offensive enough to be called vomit. They are bland, they are out of the same mould as 1,000 other residential blocks that have gone up in London and other northern hemisphere cities over the past10 to 16 years.

The design is all about giving their richest customers the best views and the most sunshine.

These buildings always remind me of Guy de Maupassant's verdict on the Eiffel Tower. The only reason, he was supposed to have said, for going up the tower was so that one didn't have to look at the beastly thing.

Well, that tower has pretty well wormed itself into the world's affections in the intervening years. Will these new piles in the sky for people with piles to burn do the same? Will they even be there in 150 years?

Your guess is as good as anyone's.

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