Herzog & de Meuron proposals have attracted widespread criticism

One of the co-founders of Herzog & de Meuron has said he has “no problem” with criticism of the firm’s plans for a tall building over Liverpool Street station – provided it doesn’t overstep the mark.

The Swiss practice is behind highly contested £1.5bn proposals to transform Liverpool Street station which include a 15-storey tower above the grade II-listed Andaz hotel. Plans for the scheme were sent in for planning this spring.

Former RIBA presidents, celebrities and a host of heritage groups have all urged communities secretary Michael Gove to call in the scheme – which has yet to be validated by City of London planners.


Pierre de Meuron (left) with practice co-founder Jacques Herzog

Critics have said the plans would set a “terrible precedent” for the treatment of listed buildings in conservation areas and for views of St Paul’s Cathedral.

In an interview with Building’s sister title Building Design, Pierre de Meuron said: “If people have issues of height, or mass, then they can point to Liverpool Steet as an example that can be criticised. I have no problem with that at all.”

The practice is also at the centre of a row in Paris which recently voted to ban tall buildings for a second time following a backlash against its controversial 48-storey Le Triangle tower.

In the interview, de Meuron added: “How do we deal with such criticism? We cannot escape it, believe me, and we try to speak openly about it. If the debate is on a good level and it’s not just bashing us then I don’t have a problem with that.


A host of heritage groups have said the Liverpool Street plans (pictured) will be a blight on the area

“I don’t think this building harms the homogeneity or the beauty of Paris. In Liverpool [Street] station, yes, we have to think about heritage, we have to think about daylight in the concourse and we have to think about massing.”

A decision on the Liverpool Street, scheme, which is being developed by Sellar, is due next year.

Additional reporting Michael Hodges