November 5, 2006


Hate a building? Ask the Tories to knock it down: Cameron allies plan to 'X-list' urban eyesores (Ned Temko, November 5, 2006, The Observer)

It's called X-listing - the idea, popularised by a Channel 4 TV series, of not just preserving cherished buildings but demolishing hated ones. Now, if a Conservative think-tank gets its way, a future David Cameron government will ask the public to help name and shame hundreds of eyesores as a way of reinvigorating Britain's cities.

The man behind the proposal for architectural guerrilla warfare, James O'Shaughnessy of the Policy Exchange, admitted yesterday that safeguards will have to be built into the system. Ugliness is, after all, in the eye of the beholder.

O'Shaughnessy's own top candidate for 'knocking down in a second' would be the Trellick Tower, looming over the A40 in west London. In his view, it's a 'brutalist residential monster'. However, he accepts that dozens of moneyed young professionals seem to disagree. A two-bedroom Trellick flat now goes for nearly £300,000. Other, more likely, candidates for the O'Shaughnessy 'X-list' include Cumbernauld town centre, recently voted the worst in Britain, and Battersea Power Station

The irony is that the World Trade Center would have headed any such list.

Posted by Orrin Judd at November 5, 2006 10:48 PM
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