School of Architecture, Planning & Landscape

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What lies beneath: the subterranean secrets of London's super-rich

Professor Roger Burrows talks to the Guardian regarding his work on the impact of wealth in London and the consequences this has for the built environment.  With regards to architectural and planning restrictions, Burrows discusses the study which demonstrated an increased presence of ‘residential basement developments’ by the ‘super-rich’ of London.  The study has aimed to map out the ‘hidden subterranean geographies of plutocratic London’, highlighting extraordinary developments which are up to three storeys deep and contain extravagant amenities including beaches.   

Reviewing planning applications between 2008 and 2017, Burrows and colleagues (Master of Architecture students Sophie Baldwin and Elizabeth Holroyd) interrogate the extent of the excavation and downward extensions, and note the varied amenities these new spaces contain, including a trend for gyms and swimming pools. 

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The full study is available here.

published on: 9 May 2018