Stephen Nice contrasts an 1880s London meat and fish market with a less palatable 1980s redevelopment
My wonder is Leadenhall Market in the City of London. Built in 1881, the original meat and fish market is now a thriving shop and restaurant complex that has created covered streets within the original wrought iron and glass roofed buildings. It is an attractive place to shop, eat and drink and is a fine example of how buildings should interact with the streets they face.
However I think that 22 Farringdon Street is a blunder. The gothic warehouses that transformed this area following the construction of Farringdon Street and the Metropolitan line in the mid-19th century are now being converted with new shops and restaurants along the street. Unfortunately more recent 1980s redevelopment created the commercial building at 22 Farringdon Street which has made no such contribution. The elevation along Farringdon Street provides an uninteresting frontage dedicated to service bays and has no interaction with the street. The main entrance on the corner of Cowcross Street also includes a barrier to prevent pedestrians walking past the doorway, creating an unnecessarily awkward corner at a busy pedestrian crossing on route to Farringdon Tube Station. We can do better.
Stephen Nice is director of the landscape architecture company Burns+Nice, which is currently working on re-landscaping Johnson's Court off Fleet Street in central London.