Dear Renzo Piano. (Architect of The Shard)
You are undoubtedly an architect of great repute…. (yes this is going to be a ‘shit sandwich’ if you hadn’t already noticed: compliment, bad news, then compliment again). The Centre George Pompidou, thrilled me when I first saw it as a child. (we’re still on the compliment bit)…and my father who was also an architect spoke highly of your work as I was growing up. My brother did a year at architectural school but then dropped out and became a poet so I didn’t ask his opinion. (but I will if you want me to?)
I live in South London, less than 3 miles from your Shard. I see it often from a distance, It being such huge stamp on the London sky-line. And I have to say (and here’s the shit bit)..i think you’ve let yourself and London down. The building, its shape and size are often very impressive, especially during sunsets on a misty London backdrop. However that top bit, rather than being a clever piece of design; the coming together of three glass shards…just looks plainly unfinished. Still a building site. That bit makes the whole structure look shit. Its ok from certain angles. But from south London it just looks awful. It really makes me annoyed that, such a mammoth (and interesting structure) could be screwed up.
Okay, perhaps this reflects the London sky line as a whole. Beauty and ugliness, finished and unfinished. The Lloyd’s building, which has its inner workings exposed, is fantastic. Yet I feel this wasn’t your intention. This ‘feature’ looked fine in the architectural design. But I wonder whether you agree that in reality this was a poor part of the design? Its okay to be wrong. To make mistakes. I recently made a stop motion short animation, which looking back was actually quite poor. I got it wrong.
My Dad was an architect. Now he just sits in a chair, only just able to remember his buildings that still stand as his body and mind crumbles away. I showed him a picture of The Shard. He said it looked too big.
Hopefully in the future you will consider this letter, (see Figures 1-3) when designing new buildings . Sadly this letter turns out to be more of an ‘open shit sandwich’: Compliment then Bad news, without the other slice of compliment. Sorry.
I enclose a stamped address envelope & look forward to your response as I’m a bit bored.
Kim Noble (male)