Once known as the artist’s impression, the 3-D computer-generated image (CGI) is pimped by architects and as a means to sell a development. CGIs embrace the technique of hyper-realism for the Lilliputian seduction yet such realism is frequently forged upon fantasy: dramatic wide-angled yet selectively-cropped viewpoints, surreal purple skies compounded by the aesthetic of motion blurs. Every citizen of the CGI world is a supermodel.

Each day an email arrives from China with an offer to build a drawing: that is visualisers seeking work as a pixel contractor to the architect. Within this context of architectural (mis)representation, it is refreshing to then see a CGI whose purpose is meaningful, not merely to sell something. The image below has been produced by Spitalfields Community Group in response to British Land’s Boris-endorsed redevelopment proposals for Norton Folgate, here in East London. The images speak not of construction, but of destruction. Even desecration.


Please add your name to the illustrious list of those calling for a Public Inquiry by writing direct to the Secretary of State. The Spitalfields Trust suggest you include the following points in your letter which you can email to gregclarkmp@parliament.uk or post to House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA

This is not just a very important case for London, it is also of national importance and has serious implications for Conservation Areas across the country.
This fragile Conservation Area is protected by local Conservation Guidelines, which this application disregards.
The vitality of the City does not depend upon demolishing some warehouses in Spitalfields.
The democratic decision at a local level has been over-ruled by the centralised intervention of the Mayor of London.
The Spitalfields Trust’s Conservation Scheme for Norton Folgate is independently costed and is viable. It could be delivered more quickly and far more cheaply than that proposed by British Land. It is based upon the repair of the existing historic buildings, with sensitive infill of empty sites in keeping with the Conservation Area.
The Spitalfields Trust’s scheme would provide more affordable business accommodation, particularly for small businesses and provide more housing, both low cost and private, for the local borough.
This case has given rise to substantial local and national controversy, and has been widely covered in the media.
The whole-scale demolition of heritage assets in the Conservation Area conflicts fundamentally with national policies as set out in the National Planning Policy Framework in section 12 in relation to conserving and enhancing the historic environment.


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