The Women’s Building in the news

The Women’s Building is hitting the news, for the wrong reasons.

Yesterday the online journal Building Design published this article, causing one prominent architect to compare Peabody’s initial designs to a “barracks.”

The journalist got quotes from the executive director of AHMM (the firm currently designing the WB) and Peabody’s executive development director. Brilliant – up till now, we had no indication either had the slightest interest in the Women’s Building!

The article has already received a comment from retired architect Simon Carne, who we believe is on the Islington design panel: “1630 dwellings per hectare and the nearest underground station is a ten minute walk, half a mile away. Islington is short of open green spaces and parks and the nearest is even further away than Caledonian Road tube station. And it has all the aesthetics of a barracks. Sorry Peabody and AHMM you can do so much better.

Also, this is a blog written by the prominent architect Sarah Wigglesworth last month. She lives locally to the prison and was a star panellist in London Festival of Architecture sessions during June. Her parting shot:  “It should avoid crude and reductionist cliches such as being coloured red (think menstruation), using curvaceous forms (referencing a hackneyed idea of the female body) or be confined to a domestic scale. Such tactics condemn women to be in thrall to their biology and the sites that have for centuries confined their agency and are inappropriate.

What are your thoughts? Let Peabody know in the consultation running for the next few weeks. Find out more at our public meeting online at 6pm on Monday 19th July – email to register.

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