Residents of London's Neo Bankside residential building—a luxury complex of apartments designed by Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners—have launched a legal bid against the Tate Modern to close one side of a public viewing platform, designed by Herzog & de Meuron and completed in 2016, which overlooks their properties. As reported by the Architects' Journal, "the applicants say that their human rights are being breached due to ‘near constant surveillance’ from visitors to the neighbouring attraction." The claim goes as far to argue that visitors to the Southbank gallery "constantly view their flats through binoculars, and post photographs and film of their homes on social media sites."
In the past, Neo Bankside itself has been the subject of intense controversy. In 2015, when the project was shortlisted for the RIBA Stirling Prize, a group known as Architects for Social Housing (ASH) gained attention after stating its intention to hold a protest at the award ceremony. Their anger was directed at the fact that the project, which they posited had "not only broken every planning requirement for social housing in Southwark" but has, in so doing, "set a very dangerous precedent for the mechanics of social cleansing in London."
Calls for the public viewing platform to be sealed off—or "for a screen to be built at the residents’ expense along the viewing platform"—have been so far rejected.
News via Architects' Journal.
Architects in the United Kingdom have been subjected to a month of monumental highs and lows. After Herzog & de Meuron's Tate Modern extension (known as Switch House) opened Friday, June 17, the following Thursday, June 23, the country proclaimed its (ill-planned) desire to leave the European Union.