Boris Johnson has strong words for architect before giving the scheme a Best Built Project award
Mayor Boris Johnson attacked his workplace, the 2002 Greater London Authority (GLA) building, as one of the worst in London shortly before handing its developer a planning award.
The mayor issued last night's inimitable comic rant as he prepared to present the London Planning Awards, sponsored by the Royal Town Planning Institute and London First. In it, he said that the GLA building was impossible to maintain.
The building has, he said: "Windows which do not open but are almost impossible to see through because they are constantly covered with guano or other substances and are impossible to clean.
"And whoever knows the secret of cleaning the windows in City Hall has either died or crept away to South America and there’s nothing we can do about it."
He added that the staircase, which took up most of the space, was hardly ever used: Above me you can see is a staircase that is almost entirely unused but nonetheless occupies most of the volume."
He finished with a putdown for Lord Foster, the architect: "If the man responsible for creating these windows - the architect - is still in this city then I would be delighted if he would make himself known to m."
Directly after this speech, the mayor handed the first award of the night, the Best Built Project award, to More London Developments for the More London scheme, of which the GLA building is a part.
Wrapping up the ceremony, Johnson billed his earlier “various disobliging remarks” as “a measure of our broadmindedness” in selecting the winners.
Foster has designed virtually all buildings on the More London site.
Transport scheme, High Speed 1, including the St Pancras Station renovation, won the Mayor's own planning award - although he claimed that not he, but his "emanations" had made that pick, too.