Over the last year the Broadgate Tower has risen up from nowhere to challenge the London urban landscape. Although the tower has finally reached its zenith, hundreds of ant humans are still busily installing its cardiovascular system and coating it in huge glass panels. Its growth has been imperceptible, but each new day as my eyes scan its exterior I instinctively sense its impending completion.

Article written 2007.

Wherever You Are I Am

You cannot escape me. Wherever you are I am. Omnipresent I am not, and immortal neither, but the City knows me, and if you know the City you know me. I am here now. I peer over houses, through diaphonous materials, and when you are hiding in the backstreets I will look for your reflection in other buildings. I am now, like the Gherkin, and the BT Tower, a landmark which people will look out for. When people see me, they'll think of my brothers and sisters: Liverpool Street, Great Eastern Street, Finsbury Square and Old Street. I am now an ambassador.

The City Pushing Into Bohemia

The Bishopsgate Tower stands erect, chin up, looking out ans above Hoxton. Curtain Road is where bohemian Hoxton and Shoreditch join forces to mount their opposition to the dominance of the City. Armed with three to four storey high buildings, organic food shops selling sun dried tomatoes, clothes shops run by effeminate men and willowy women, how long can H&S hold out? The City's largesse threatens the bohemian village.

The Ants

The luminous yellow ants do back breaking work. When you look up from the pavement and see one of them staring down at you, its as if you're both wondering how something so small could make something so big. These ants get everywhere - walking here - walking there - seeking out the greasy spoons amongst the plethora of ciabatta and rye bread continential sandwich bars.
Rolling Out the Red Carpet

On October 16th I was walking down Plough Yard, an old back street which sits just in front of Broadgate tower, where there did before that very day stand a number of old dark brick warehouses. To my surprise many had been knocked down (see picture immediately to my left). In the absence of the warehouses, all I could see was a pile of rubble, beyond which lay an expanse of flat land announcing the Broadgate Tower in all its erect splendour. What were they going to do with this land? Build an underground car park - a pedestrianised zone full of sandwich shops and fashion stores? I felt sad to see these old decrepit warehouses being knocked down - I felt like I was witnessing the destruction of history - a working man's history - and the further extension of a new corporate order. Character was disappearing, standardisation was taking it's place - a standardisation which crushes all surprise, difference and joie de vivre and displaces it with 'nice', 'modern' and 'convenient'. Disgusting.

Look Here I am Mum

At last I've got my dream job in the City. The power suits, the 'City news' Asian lady bleating morning at me as I come out of Moorgate tube in the morning, the brie sandwiches on ciabatta, or the liquid lunches in the old pubs - all on the tab of course. Here I am today - being given birth to - one day you'll find it hard to remember what the City looked like without me.