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Planning Application - Hindsley Place and Westbourne Drive
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Posts: 3,257
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #1
08-03-2011 02:29 PM

Local artist Jeff Lowe has submitted an application for a new live/work unit on Hindsley Place and backing onto Westbourne Drive.

Visuals are best represented in this document.

I would be interested in everybody's views on this development, particularly those living close to the site, either by posting on this thread or by sending me a PM.

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Posts: 269
Joined: Apr 2005
Post: #2
09-03-2011 04:31 PM

It looks like an alien spacecraft has landed. Maybe that was the idea...

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No Longer Registered

Posts: 135
Joined: Jan 2011
Post: #3
09-03-2011 06:04 PM

I have been trying to think of something positive to say about the design but my initial impression is of a stack of giant toolboxes.

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Posts: 1
Joined: Mar 2011
Post: #4
10-03-2011 06:25 PM

As a resident of Westbourne Drive I am horrified by the look of this building and the impact it would have on my property - not only in terms of light and privacy but also in terms of value.

Michael, I have PM'd you about this and more than happy to join forces with neighbours to contest this application.

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Posts: 129
Joined: Mar 2009
Post: #5
10-03-2011 07:09 PM

It is both remarkably ugly and seems to be out of place with the rest of Westbourne Drive. The height of the hill will actually make the "tower" even more intrusive.

Good luck with opposing the plan.

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Posts: 2
Joined: Mar 2011
Post: #6
11-03-2011 09:13 AM

I have looked at the plans for Westbourne Drive and think this is exactly what Forest Hill needs. This is imaginative, striking and will certainly put Forest Hill on the map. As someone who lives nearby this is like a breath of fresh air in what seems to be a very depressed area. I hope to see it.

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Posts: 379
Joined: Feb 2008
Post: #7
11-03-2011 10:22 AM

It certainly looks better from this angle than in the visuals michael pointed to.

However, I feel that the visuals do not do the designs justice; it would appear to be bulging monstrosity with a bright orange top in some of the visuals, whereas it is in fact a conventional, straight sided building (from the elevations) with different motifs on the sides. The 'bulge' is merely an optical illusion caused by the shading of the drawing.

If you read the design and access statement, it would appear that the top floor is to be clad in copper, which is why it is orange in some of the visuals and green in others, indicating the patination as the copper ages.

So while my initial opinion was unfavourable, on reflection I think that this is a building Forest Hill could be proud of.

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Posts: 106
Joined: Nov 2007
Post: #8
11-03-2011 11:01 AM

This looks like the first bit of imaginative architecture that has been proposed for Forest Hill, for some considerable time. It is so much better than the ugly, boring buildings that have been built on both sides of the track around FH Station. It will provide a talking point for years to come. People still talk about the Pompidou Centre in Paris many years after it was built. Let's have something to praise in Forest Hill.

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Posts: 15
Joined: Jun 2010
Post: #9
11-03-2011 01:07 PM

I think that this is a great design and just what Forest Hill needs. At last someone with the imagination and guts to go ahead with an ambitious project like this in today’s property climate should be applauded. Or we could get Lewisham to put up another androgynous block of flats that will date within the year and blight the local area.

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Posts: 9
Joined: Mar 2011
Post: #10
11-03-2011 01:42 PM

My name is Jeff Lowe. I am applying for the building permission in Hindsley's Place/Westbourne Drive. Some people may know that i was responsible for the live/work and artists studios in Havelock Walk (I live at no.6 ) These old redundant warehouses have been restored and have become an important part of the identity of Forest Hill,with regular open studios.

I have lived in Forest Hill for over 15 years. I have also initiated the Glynde House studios (Crofton Park),Gladiator Works, Beacon Road and in South Bermondsey off Ilderton Road. These can be viewed on my website

My buildings have always been approached from the perspective of an artist (not a developer) making decisions and inclusions from an aesthetic rather than a commercial position and without the restriction of a developers budget and often lack of imagination. It has taken three years to get to this point and i would urge anyone to view the designs. I decided to go a stage further than most applications which usually just show elevations and instead i have submitted 3d renderings.It is difficuilt to show how the materials would weather e.g the copper which would turn green after time. The building is proposed as my new studio and living space. The tower is made from high quality materials copper,stainless steel etc which will stand the test of time.The Hindsley's place building uses 18th century stone window and door surrounds and antique ironwork. I am currently working on sculpture for Berkeley Square (for the Olympics) and the Cass Foundation at Goodwood. I have been active in matters relating to Forest Hill for many years including the Pools campaign and with a desire to regenerate and revitalise Forest Hill generally. I have had much support for this project. Grand Designs have confirmed that they want to cover the construction on their programme. My proposal I see as a catalyst in Forest hill and something which i hope will make a stand against the cheaply constructed, ill conceived buildings which we see so much of and have to endure for so many years.

I hope that you will be able to support my proposal.

Jeff Lowe

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Posts: 88
Joined: Dec 2009
Post: #11
11-03-2011 04:19 PM

I think this could be a fantastic addtion to Forest Hill. The south side of the tracks needs some re-generation and this type of building and concept could be just the ticket. The plans show a gallery which I presume would show Havelock Walk artists as well as other London artists no doubt and I would think that it would drive people to the area which can only be a good thing in terms of house value as well as increasing the general nice-ness (!) of SE23. Over time, the honey pot effect would I'm sure attract other ventures and businesses - the end of Perry Vale can only benefit.

This architecture/re-generation concept is tried and tested. Someone mentioned pompidou centre in Paris but there are countless others, Bilbao in Spain and in London, Tate Modern is a perfect example- they were all contested at the time of design and they've all been a great sucess. This is not on such a grand scale of course but the principal is the same all be it on a micro level. One gets nowwhere by being ordinary and run of the mill. It is pushing boundaries and being different that makes you stand out and get results.

I should think having this exicting new building which is supporting local artists and the community could only benefit Forest Hill. Jeff Lowe is welcome to build this oppposite my house (I don't live far away)!

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Posts: 821
Joined: Dec 2006
Post: #12
11-03-2011 04:32 PM

Sorry Jeff but that is a real eyesore.

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Posts: 93
Joined: May 2008
Post: #13
11-03-2011 05:11 PM

Congratulations on that great design – the building already achieved its objective already – divide opinions – make people think – talk - discuss – enjoy – isn’t that what art is all about?

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Posts: 1,111
Joined: Jun 2008
Post: #14
11-03-2011 07:28 PM

I like it. I don't think it will be any more intrusive in the skyline than any of the apartment buildings that have been going up of late, and it's much more interesting architecturally.

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Posts: 12
Joined: Nov 2010
Post: #15
12-03-2011 02:47 PM

I think this is a really interesting building that would be a great local addition. Overall this and the other build on Perry Vale could add a refreshing new vibrancy to the area on the Perry Vale side of the tracks

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from the forest

Posts: 1
Joined: Mar 2011
Post: #16
13-03-2011 11:56 PM

Over the last year I have noticed the considerable efforts made by individuals such as Jeff Lowe to improve and revitalise Forest Hill. As well as having discussions with Jeff, I have spoken to many of my customers and local business owners in the area who have given positive feedback and are also in support of this project and will be very happy if permission is granted.

Forest Hill is a unique part of Lewisham to work in and has world class talent within it. The proposed buildings plan will no doubt provide everlasting architectural flare to the sides of Forest Hill that is usually regarded by many as the wrong side of the tracks.

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Posts: 390
Joined: May 2004
Post: #17
15-03-2011 07:29 PM

Very impressed by the design and this was clearly inspired by Jason Lee:

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No Longer Registered

Posts: 135
Joined: Jan 2011
Post: #18
15-03-2011 10:29 PM

Revisiting the plans and the comments made in the other posts I agree that the design is interesting.

The contrast between the modern tower and the two storey frontage on Hindley's Place, which looks a bit like a Victorian barracks, provides a dynamic tension if that doesn't sound too pompous.

If you take the contrast away and I would suggest that there is nothing particularly original about the design of the tower or the Hindley's Place frontage. Perhaps this is a rather grand comparison but it reminds me of the glass pyramid built at the Louvre. An unexceptional modern design given weight by its context.

Perhaps I take an overly purist view in believing that the the design is more art than architecture.

Ignoring issues of design merit (which ultimately are purely subjective) I welcome the variety that the design would bring to the existing architecture of Hindsley's Place and Westbourne Drive.

The modern buildings in Westbourne Drive on either side of the proposed new build are best described as being Wickesesque. Bargain basement DIY styling with no attempt to lift the soul.

However, much as I deplore these modern buildings they are homes to fellow Forest Hillers and if I lived in the adjoining houses I would find the tower intrusive and overly dominant. It will also cast a very long shadow no matter what the light study says.

I would also criticise the ground storey treatment of the tower on Westbourne Drive. It projects significantly beyond the existing building line and the entrance area is fenced in a "get off my land" sort of way.

It is a great shame that the parking area between the tower and 12 Westbourne Drive doesn't appear to be available to build upon. Using that space would allow the height of the tower to be reduced and the building line maintained.

At the end of the day I wish Jeff good luck. It is good to see something other than the standard developer box with a pitched roof and as such should be welcomed. If the neighbours agree then everyone will be happy.

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Posts: 1
Joined: Mar 2011
Post: #19
15-03-2011 10:50 PM

I live in Perry Vale close to the station and would see Jeff’s new creation every day whenever I am going or coming from the station. Very refreshing compared to all the other mostly mediocre buildings, which have gone up in Forest Hill recently.

I am a design consultant myself and involved in developing high-end residential houses in Dulwich Village and Islington and can see the positive impact this will have in helping to put Forest Hill on the map.

Just think of what Frank Gehry’s Guggenheim Museum did for Bilbao!

Jeff, I just hope that you will succeed! MF

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Posts: 84
Joined: Nov 2004
Post: #20
16-03-2011 03:52 AM

Very impressed by the design and this was clearly inspired by Jason Lee

This doesn't look too bad at all and should - if I have my angles right - look quite arresting to drivers coming down London Road.

But for a real bit of authentic south London inspiration surely the building should be flanked and offset by huge teetering towers of scrap motors, brightly painted in Ford Capri orange and Volkswagen yellow.Wink

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