Is it a burger bar? Is it a Wetherspoons? No, it’s The Denizen!

Taylor Wimpey have put advertising hoardings for their ugly and overscaled development The Denizen AKA The Turd on the hoardings that surround and protect their site. A computer generated graphic of the what The Denizen entrance is supposed to look like has been placed right by the Golden Lane school crossing. As a result many of the kids attending the Golden Lane Children’s Centre and Prior Weston School, both of which will suffer a massive loss of light and disruption if the development is built, have been speculating as to what the pictures depict.

Children who don’t know The Denizen is a block of luxury flats tend to assume it’s some sort of fast food joint, and so when the hoardings first appeared it wasn’t unusual to hear kids saying things like: “Mummy can we go there to get a pizza?” The entrance interior looks remarkably similar to those of local J. D. Wetherspoon budget chain pubs such as the Masque Haunt on the corner of Old Street and Bunhill Row, or the Sir John Oldcastle on Farringdon Road. Once children understand the building is a block of supposedly luxury flats, it isn’t unusual to hear them cry: “But why would anyone live there? It’s so ugly!”

Of course, these flats aren’t intended for people to live in, they’re safe deposit boxes in the sky for property investors. It is difficult to explain the concept of ghost homes and buy to leave property investments to five year-olds who regularly see people sleeping rough in the area; for example the lovely chess players who bed down beneath the small overhang on the part of Anchor House that faces Old Street, just a few minutes walk away from The Denizen site. Small children don’t understand how people could be so cruel that they’d leave others sleeping on the streets after buying a flat they don’t intend to live in. It seems even more crazy when you realise that many of the luxury investment flats in the converted Blake Tower, two minutes walk down Fann Street from The Denizen, are still unsold; and the same goes for the many of the ghost homes recently constructed on nearby City Road.

Ultimately Taylor Wimpey don’t care that their Allford Hall Monaghan Morris designed Denizen is ugly and its interior design tacky, since investors aren’t worried about aesthetics; like the developer, these ghost home buyers are focused on making money and don’t give a damn about us!

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Reposted from the Spectres of Modernism blog: https://spectresofmodernism.wordpress.com/2017/10/22/is-it-a-burger-bar-is-it-a-wetherspoons-no-its-the-denizen/

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