Wednesday, 15 July 2009

Crossrail at Tottenham Court Road

Preparatory work continues apace at Tottenham Court Road for Crossrail, with demolisions now solidly underway. The last few months have seen the first visual signs of the work properly manifest around the properties Crossrail acquired last year.

Handily, TfL have a webcam in place in their offices in Centrepoint, which means it's possible to get an idea of what has changed over the last few months.

As can be seen, the dust covers have ascended and demolition (or rather systematic dismantling) has begun, with the roofs now completely removed.

The first picture was taken on the 30th March, and the last on the 13th of July.











For those interested, from this week onwards the new Crossrail Visitor Centre will be open to the public in the area as well - it's located at 6-18 St Giles High Street and opens on the 16th.

25 comments:

Anonymous said...

certainly looks like work is moving on at speed at TCR. now that the roofs have been removed progress should begin to become quite visible as the walls of buildings are taken down.

Anonymous said...

I really liked those buildings. They were a bit grotty, but they could have easily been cleaned. I really hope TfL are legally forced to rebuild things to the same design afterwards.

Anonymous said...

That's not exactly Crossrail-related, its just for the works expanding the existing tube station, so that there is better access to the other ends of the platforms as well. To ease congestion.

For crossrail they have to dig up Soho square, and the Royal Mail sorting office Car Park on Newman Street (near the One Nation Under CCTV painting) and demolish the only run-down-but-nice buildings on Dean Street near Oxfords street.

Anonymous said...

the freehold of the site where the buildings are being demolished is owned by derwent, a major landowner in the west end, who will have responsiblity for constructing the replacement buildings. westminster council has developed a draft planinng brief for the eastern end of oxford street and this sets out the type of development that will be permitted including a replacement venue on the astoria site.

Anonymous said...

Westminster council has developed a number of planning briefs for the crossrail sites within the borough including tottenham court road.

http://www.westminster.gov.uk/services/environment/planning/majorprojects/crossrail/planningbriefs/

the planinng briefing for tottenham court road - east sets out the development that is allowed to take place in the area where demolition works are currently taking place

Anonymous said...

They set out a draft for the Chelsea Barracks site too, but Richard Rodgers still ignored it and then complained when people criticised his design.

There needs to be something legally binding so vain undemocratic architects like him can't ride roughshod over it.

Anonymous said...

Its not exactly well written, this planning brief :

"a new ticket hall under the Centre Point Plaza" .... deleted : P

which would make it "Centre oint Plaza".

Anonymous said...

This line of the brief seems increadibly undemocratic and massively out of order:

"Modern design ...will be required ..."

Favouring Modern design over Traditional design is offensively destructive for that site. They shouldn't be allowed to do this.

Anonymous said...

the planinng brief is a draft that was consulted on last year. it is now due to be considered by westminster planinng committee and finalised so there could be a number of changes in the final version compared to the draft

Anonymous said...

I don't remember being consulted, and I live near there. Exactly who was consulted during this "consulted on" phase?

Tom said...

"Favouring Modern design over Traditional design is offensively destructive for that site"

A site opposite, er, Centrepoint?

Anonymous said...

A site surrounded by 18th and 19th century buildings, that is itself in a conservation area, and was until recently itself 19th century.

Centrepoint's construction was a monstrous piece of corruption, and it itself in no-way surrounds the site. In fact, centrepoint is merely one corner, one corner where there used to be a road, a road that can't be reinstated because Centrepoint's in the fucking way.

You're suggesting the kind of logic that would see most of the louvre demolished, because someone built a modernist glass pyramid in the centre. You'd have all the surroundings of croydon always replaced with corbousier constructions. A cancer that gradually spreads until it consumes the entire landscape of Britain.

That's really not an appropriate design philosophy.

Anonymous said...

does anyone have a link to the webcam?

solar penguin said...

@Anonymous 00:15 -- What's wrong with Le Corbousier as a design philosophy? After all, brutally modernist works are a lot more interesting and inspiring than all that old-fashioned, forgettable 19th-century rubbish.

SIMON said...

I think they should take the opportunity to build a striking modern piece of architecture, not try to rehash the mess that was there before. Lets be honest the Astoria and associated buildings were awful.

What would be really nice is if they left it as open space with public access gardens and seating.

Anonymous said...

Can you post up the link to the Tfl webcam?

John Bull said...

Can you post up the link to the Tfl webcam?

It's not a public camera unfortunately - TfL use to grab photos for records/history/the odd press release.

They've been kind enough to promise us shots from it when we want them though, so I'll definitely look to run some more as things progress.

Anonymous said...

Corbousier thought buildings should be machines, purely functional, rather than aesthetic. In fact, he liked to shove that concept down people's throats as much as possible. He wanted to abolish streets, and destroy places that had any history or had any aesthetic principles involved in its design.

Here's a Corbousier style plan that was proposed for Soho - http://i35.tinypic.com/zo6c1d.jpg

Here's one for Picadilly Circus - http://i202.photobucket.com/albums/aa278/fit3xl/renders/290309016.jpg

That's what's wrong with Corbousier. If that doesn't make you wretch, there's something seriously wrong with you.

The Astoria was run down, but it wasn't bad. It could easily have been repaired and transformed into quite a pleasant building. The only reason no-one bothered, and allowed it to run down, was because crossrail was continuously hanging over it like the Sword of Damocles.

The associated buildings were definitely not awful. Their occupants were, and they had dreadful shopfronts. But these were just sheet glass. That's a question of council management of the state of shopkeepers' displays not building design. If the buildings had been looked after (which they would have if Crossrail hadn't made doing so a bit of a waste of money) the quality of shop tenant could have been a lot better.

People don't want "striking ... bits of architecture". They want "something that looks nice".

Anonymous said...

did anyone manage to get a nosey at the new visitor centre today?

Earle Martin said...

Farewell Astoria then. Good times were had within.

GM said...

Great shots, thanks for posting them.

Anonymous said...

Yes, I visited the visitor centre on Thursday - thank goodness I was in the area as I would have been mightly angry if I had gone there specially. It is beyond useless. To describe what limited material there would be to give it some credit. It is only worth visiting to see how bad it is.

Mr Thant said...

I've had a look in (when it was closed). It's all the drawing and diagrams we've seen before, but it seems reasonably comprehensive and perfectly adequate for its target audience (people who don't know much about the project).

Worth noting it's only open 12-8pm Tuesdays and Thursdays. It's on the east side of that road that goes under Centre Point.

Anonymous said...

There are 2 3D models there now, including the underground bits.

Anonymous said...

Lunacy..Demolish a great and much loved part of London to build a station that will only be of benefit to people who do not actually live in London. All Londoners get in return will be a charming shopping mall with really interesting shops like. BOOTS, STARBUCKS and BURGER KING.

A sad tragedy.