Foster + Partners designed the London City Hall way back in 2002 as a testament to transparent democratic government, the great importance of sustainability in today’s world, and to symbolize the importance of the local city government. The building is visually stunning and dynamic. It is architecture that you won’t soon forget, probably even inspirational– as one descends the ten floor spiral staircase overlooking the Thames, Tower Bridge and the Tower of London. But how well did the architects do on their “green” city hall?
London City Hall: Sustainable Buildings (WordPress) emphasizes,”the 2012 energy performance operational rating was a grade D. Although this is an improvement, as in 2008 it was graded E.” Well, the government has been working on it adding solar panel technology and other good things, but it is barely more energy efficient than a standard office building. Also, steel fabrication requires huge expenditures in energy consumption on the front end and creates massive pollution.
They did, however accomplish some very important goals: raising the awareness of important sustainability issues to the London and UK populous, further the importance of the transparency of government (whether actual or perceived), and redevelopment and economic improvement to an area of the city which was lacking these.
So, baby steps.
We can all learn from the City of London‘s mistakes and glories.
Because architecture that inspires is important to humanity.
- Is Norman Foster Part of the Problem or Part of the Solution? (loveartnotpeople.org)
- London: city of infinite opportunities (steviepreater.wordpress.com)
- Inside London’s City Hall Staircase (denijosandersphotography.wordpress.com)
- London’s Tech City Takes Root (nytimes.com)
- Video: EPA, please adopt stronger coal plant water pollution standards! (sierraclub.typepad.com)
- A Guide to London’s Most Beautiful Gothic Interiors (epicatravel.com)
- The city of London (tsarinaandco.wordpress.com)