The UKCMRI consortium last week unveiled its rejigged plans for the outside appearance of the proposed medical lab behind the British Library.
It has not had the courtesy to provide detailed information on the web at time of writing (there’s nothing at all on its own website) – or directly to local residents in Somers Town, but rather has focused on the hard-sell with soft-focus artist impressions and sweeping videos (in which the local residents – for whom it claims it wants to be a “good neighbour” – see their homes reduced to beige blocks).
What’s carefully not mentioned in any of these reports is the fact that this is the second attempt at a design; new architects were brought in to work on the outside after the first effort met with widespread disgust.
Not that this appears to be a great deal different – if anything the huge mass, so out of scale not just with the surrounding residential area, but also the British Library and St Pancras station, is even further amplified.
The most interesting press report, however, is from Nature. This highly respected industry source is clearly less than enamoured with the whole project, describing it as a “grandiose plan” that will not come cheap, adding: “The stiff price tag comes at a difficult time, as several of the project’s backers are facing a grim economic future.”