To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Property Awards, we have launched a special one-off award for the most innovative development of the past 20 years.
The award is sponsored by James Andrew International and its associated companies.
We asked the great and the good of the property industry for their personal picks.
Chief executive, LondonMetric
My vote goes to One Hyde Park. The vision and impact that this development has had has been impressive, far-reaching and long-lasting. The old Bowater House had been owned by Lands Securities for many years, but it took two young small residential developers to have the enormous vision to demolish an obsolete office building and to create a world-class residential building.
Daniel Van Gelder
My nomination isn’t for a tower or something striking, but a clever refurbishment. Innovation can be all about bringing failing buildings back to life, as perfectly demonstrated by the The Angel Building, St John Street, London EC1, by Derwent London. Beautifully designed by Simon Allford at AHMM and shortlisted for the Stirling Prize, this is a model on how to use and transform previous structures and still create something truly special.
I nominate the David Mellor cutlery factory, the ‘Round Building’ by Sir Michael Hopkins. Located in the Peak District National Park, this building is a shining example of why quality design should know no planning boundaries and how such a quality building can enhance the creative process and craftsmanship that takes place therein and provide an outstanding working environment.
Chief executive, Heron International / Chairman, Ronson Capital Partners
I think the Cheesegrater’s well built. I think the other tower that has been well built and well taken up is the Walkie Talkie. I can’t criticise the Cheesegrater even though there are bolts falling off - these are all things that come along in life. They’re very good buildings. I’m not knocking any of them or my friend Irvine Sellar with the Shard. But I can’t say that I’m in love with any of them. They’re good office buildings and I don’t want to flatter one developer over another.
Founder and chairman, Sellar Property Group
I can’t think of many buildings that have the character to be able to stand out in the way buildings before them, such as Tower Bridge or St Paul’s, do. I suppose the Gherkin has got to be one of them. It is distinctive and has some elegance and it’s a good building. One New Change I happen to like and I think it’s elegant. It works for me as a building. I had Francis Salway [former CEO of Land Securities] take me over there and I said: ‘Francis, this is now my second-favourite building.’
Kings Place succeeds at many levels: it combines public and private space in an unprecedented way for a private development; it contains four major uses (concert halls, food and drink, art gallery and offices); it has a wonderful high-volume atrium, and it gives good access to a beautiful canal basin. The architecture is clean and sharp, and it made exceptional financial returns by transforming an industrial site into a cool location.
Sir George Iacobescu
Chairman and CEO, Canary Wharf Group
At King’s Cross, Argent has managed to deliver a very attractive place to live and work in a long-neglected part of central London. Throughout the process they have maintained an arts and events programme alongside pop-up retail. Now there is a real buzz about the place and they have managed to create and lease some very large new buildings of high quality without losing the railway and canal heritage that gives the area its character.
Chief executive, Derwent London
While there have been many interesting developments in the past 20 years, I feel that King’s Cross has been exceptional. It is more than developing - it’s place-making, which is a crucial aspect of development today. They have taken a rundown area and regenerated it to become an important destination.