Architecture Update: Bowing to St Paul's

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The Independent Culture
SIR Norman Foster & Partners' redevelopment scheme for Mirror Group Newspapers' former headquarters at Holborn Circus, London, has been designed so as not to block views of St Paul's from Primrose Hill. Both the existing 230ft building at 33 Holborn and the 210ft Maxwell House, designed in the Sixties, were built before the DoE's rules governing height restriction in relation to the cathedral came into force in 1991.

The replacement buildings, plans for which were submitted to the Corporation of London for approval last month, are only nine storeys (160ft) high and significantly lower than an earlier proposal for the site by the architects GMW, which was granted planning permission in 1990. A third building, which will replace Orbit House, will be eight storeys high.

Although not listed, some people may regret the Mirror building's impending demolition. It was designed by Sir Owen Williams, considered to be one of the most original architect-engineers of his generation.

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