Ode To Shopping’s Busiest Road.

I’m back working near Oxford Street after a while away and it seems like the famous shopping strip is being dismantled. And there’s nothing we can do to stop it.

Huge blocks along both sides of the street have gone. Disappeared, their absence disguised behind high hoardings and scaffolding.

It seems every building project in London that promises underground parking, a predominantly glass facade and excellent energy performance certificates is getting green lit.

My memory fails me most times when I try and think of the buildings that have been lost. Brick based structures with a bit of character, most probably. But no underground parking, glass facade etc. etc.

Pre 2010 London is fast disappearing. Crossrail takes a large slice of the blame, certainly around Tottenham Court Road at Oxford Street’s eastern end. The Astoria is long gone, the area currently a mess of a building site, the result of compulsory purchase orders.

It’ll look smart when it’s finished. Characterless, I suspect. But smart. Trouble is, when will it finish? Which block along Oxford St that's more than five years old faces the demolition ball next? And when will the urge to update, modernise and provide more glass frontage end?