Architecture Update: 'Ugly Sisters' to be replaced

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AN OUTLINE planning proposal for the replacement of the Department of the Environment's headquarters in Marsham Street was submitted to Westminster City Council this week. The plan, drawn up by the architects Fitzroy Robinson, contains offices, houses, shops and restaurants.

Sir George Young, Minister for the Environment, said that the maximum height of the new buildings would be half that of the existing 21-storey towers, knowns as the Ugly Sisters. Nevertheless there are concerns that the replacement is too bulky and hardly the improvement long hoped for.

Meanwhile, Westminster and Land Securities have announced a competition for a new public square at the Soviet-style Stag Place, Victoria. Those invited to take part are Renton Howard Wood Levin, EPR architects, CZWG, Eva Jiricna and Alsop & Stormer.