Hansom: Straight to the point

Hansom new 2008

This week: sky-high asking prices at Centre Point, an enigmatic Libeskind video, and rail strikes make Parisians go green

Hansom new 2008

A select target customer

Who would buy a home in the revamped Centre Point, I wonder? More to the point: who can afford to buy a home in the London landmark, which is coming to the end of its reinvention and will feature a £55m penthouse? I’m told the flats will pique the interest of downsizers looking to leave the more expensive bits of the capital behind. At this point I’m reminded of some of the starting prices at the brutalist icon. Two-beds begin at £3.5m with three-beds going for £7.5m. Blimey, what are these people downsizing from?

Hole lot of trouble

Sticking with Centre Point, the original engineer on the job, Wilem Frischmann, told the story of how he worked out how to put a 34-storey tower above a warren of sewers and tube tunnels in the mid-1960s. The solution was to drill close-packed piles into the ground. To make sure everything was as it should be, he inspected the holes himself, even getting stuck in one and having to spend the night there before being rescued the following day. That’s commitment for you, I say. And a good argument for carrying a mobile phone on site.


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