Last night some 80 or so guests including Old Alleynians, current boys, staff and parents came together at the stunning offices of Grimshaw Architects in Clerkenwell to hear from a panel of experts on the built environment. The discussion, ‘How Does London Grow?’ was moderated by the Master, Dr Joe Spence and considered the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats for our global city.
It quickly became apparent just how much each panellist felt for London, a city whose present form reflects centuries of change; of both care and neglect. They called for repair, the need to recreate a sense of place that, particularly in the housing market is being replaced by commodification, by profit before people. ‘Why can’t we build attractive social housing?’ one questioner asked.
There was great hope however that the future is bright, that despite the threats posed by potential Brexit shaped potholes in the road we can navigate to a sustainable future. One which recognises the need to adapt, from the current dense pattern of interconnectivity, to a looser structure where working from home is the norm and commuting to a city centre is replaced by a more ‘virtual’ way of doing things. One which responds to the need to think big but act small, to re-use the places we have abused and bring light to those places we have left in the dark.
The evening ended with the opportunity to reflect in a more informal environment over drinks and networking amongst guests.
Photos from the evening can be found here
The panel of experts included Caroline Cole (Director, Coleander Associates), Ian Brown CBE (Former MD of Transport for London, London Rail), Nigel Lea RIAS RIBA (Design Director, Gensler), Al Scott RIBA (Director IF_DO), Gabi Stein (Managing Director, Equity Capital Markets (London) at Tishman Speyer) and Jolyon Brewis RIBA FRSA (Partner at Grimshaw Architects). The discussion was moderated by Dr Joe Spence (Master of the College).