Aedas’s mixed-use malls and elevated walkways might work in China, but will these mammoth towers blot Britain’s capital?
Their buildings dot the globe, but you probably couldn’t name one, nor would you ever guess they had come from the same practice. They have built a gargantuan conference centre in China that looks like a teetering stack of mirror-clad Jenga blocks, an enormous concert hall in Singapore in the shape of a crumpled beetle, and over 9.3m sq metres (100m sq ft) of shops, offices and hotels in variously sculpted towers across Asia and the Middle East. Now Aedas, one of the largest architecture practices in the world, plans to bring its flashy brand of mixed-use huge projects to London. And there is very little to stand in their way.
Our Chinese clients have their sights set on London, and they know what they want, says Keith Griffiths, the Welsh-born chairman of Aedas, who presides over the 1,400-strong practice from its Hong Kong headquarters. They are used to high rise, high density, truly mixed-use developments having everything on one site, so you can live, work and play without ever leaving the building. We think that’s the way London needs to densify.