West London could be getting a massive new addition to its skyline, its most visible yet, in fact. A building named the Chiswick Curve, with adjoining 25- and 32-storey blocks, could be constructed on the derelict site near the Chiswick roundabout to replace the scrapped plans for the London Octopus.
However, residents of the area are seriously peeved with the idea of a new building eating into their expanse of sky. They've dubbed the plans a 'monstrosity'. Ironic considering the original plan was modelled on an eight-tentacled sea beast, but fair considering the new building design is three times taller than the Octopus.
In protest of the building, Una Hodgkin, a campaigner for Save Our Skyline, wrote: 'The proposed development is far too tall, too dense and completely out of keeping with its surroundings. In addition, the design is boring — international glass towers that apologise for their existence by becoming more transparent as they rise higher up,' she said. 'Please do not give planning approval for this monstrosity.'
In defence of the plans, the developers insist the building – which would house 320 apartments plus offices and restaurants – will be great for improving the area's sense of community and make the pedestrian experience easier: 'At the heart of the design strategy is the aim to unlock and realise the extraordinary potential of this currently derelict site, to overcome the severance effect of Chiswick flyover and offer improved, sheltered routes for both pedestrians and cyclists around Chiswick roundabout. The wide range of apartment types has been designed from the inside-out to meet residents’ present and future needs.'
And their comeback to those 'boring' claims? 'The crafted forms, proportions and architectural expression will ensure that this new addition to the skyline defines this unique part of London.'
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, after all.