“The Jenga Tower”. “The Mental Tower”.
The 54-storey centrepiece of this £20 million project beside East Croydon station may not yet have left the drawing board of Make architects, yet it has already attracted a couple of unfavourable nicknames.
The scheme is probably difficult for most people to visualise, so a promotional company working for developers Menta have come up with this little video.
How realistic is it?
Well, if you are not distracted by the suitably discordant music, you might notice that the main tower, like some giant concrete and steel Dracula, casts no shadow.
Only in one brief sequence of this idealised video is there a hint of a shadow cast, but just across the width of Cherry Orchard Road.
This is mind-giddying PR spin, as any resident of nearby Addiscombe should be able to tell you. Many houses, ordinary family homes, dwarfed by the Mental Tower, fear being overshadowed, quite literally, almost permanently once the project is completed.
So does that make this PR video a deliberate misrepresentation? A lie?
The clip’s abandonment of any pretence to realism is underlined by the absence from the video of any indication of wind, despite the wind-tunnel effect which such tall developments are notorious for creating, frequently buffeting passers-by.
Indeed, others who have seen the video wonder whether the people who devised the graphics have actually located the Mental Tower in a video wonderland somewhere other than in Croydon. There’s no litter blowing around on grubby, unswept streets, no drug deals being done on the street corners, no black bags of rubbish dumped along the road side, nor are there any traffic tailbacks on the road – even though the Mental Tower plan will provide a chronic shortfall of car parking spaces for its proposed hotel and apartments.
Maybe the building of this multi-million pound Mental Tower really will transform East Croydon into some form of 21st century Shangri-La.
Or maybe not.
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