Chartered Architects' Annual Lecture21st February 2018
JM Finn, 4 Coleman Street
It was a debate rather than a lecture with 4 speakers giving their views on the City's architecture "Heritage and Modernity - War or Peace?". It was highly subjective and very entertaining. Master Architect, Stephen Wagstaffe, took us back to the 1950s when the City was dominated by St Paul's Cathedral which was surrounded by bomb sites waiting to be developed. Then and now photographs illustrated how much the City has changed and the views for the better or worse were given by Peter Luscombe, Chairman of the City Heritage Society, Annie Hampson, Chief Planning Officer and Peter Finch, Editorial Director of the Architectural Review. For what it's worth, my views supported the argument that to remain relevant, the City must change to meet the changing needs of business. There is a core of high rise buildings east of Bishopsgate and Gracechurch Street which look imposing and dramatic while new developments such as the Bloomberg offices on the site of Walbrook House can be sympathetic to the heritage of the City. A fascinating debate that continued over a glass or two of wine.