Alan Powers

Vertically challenged

St Paul’s Cathedral is quite rightly something of a national obsession. No other building has protected ‘view corridors’ as a result of legislation in 1935, when new building regulations allowed the surrounding buildings — notoriously a telephone exchange to the south — to overtop the cathedral’s cornice line. These corridors, extending like an unseen net as far afield as Richmond Hill, make architects unaccountably cross, as if they were an unfair curb on the alliance of art and Mammon. Thank God they are there, and that the tallest buildings, springing up once again like genetically modified beanstalks, are at least corralled east of Bank.

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