The Landscape Guide

Marsham Street

This site was formerly occupied by 3 ugly Depart of the Environment tower blocks ('the 3 ugly sisters'). Historians might like to remember that Sir Geoffrey Jellicoe was asked to provide a design for the ugly sisters and refused, on the grounds that they were too ugly. Between 2000-5 the 3 towers were replaced with a building by Terry Farrell and a landscape design by DLP for the Home Office. The aim was to provide public space and three pocket parks. Hugh Pearman comments that 'From the outside, it is stylistically uneasy: the central, sharp-edged block looks vaguely 1960s while the flanking pavilions with their soft corners have a touch of 1930s-Odeon about them. An attempt has been made to unify and sex up the composition with art: Liam Gillick, a Turner Prize nominee in 2002, does his colour and patterning thing with glass right round the building, most successfully in the oversailing roof canopy. He also provided the full-height perforated screen above the entrance, which looks uneasily like a portcullis'

HOMEPAGE - Landscape Architecture London List