Rejected Starchitects: 8 Controversial Building Proposals


Our commercial architects Leicester team understand just how valuable architecture is. It is an essential part of our developing culture and building heritage and we rely on commercial architects to make this possible. Creating new and innovative designs for commercial properties is not an easy task and it can be quite disappointing when certain plans are rejected. Even world famous architects find their proposals rejected at certain times in their careers.
Many architects can retaliate with quips and retorts such as Norman Fosters remark that the decision to reject his plans for the New London Airport lacked “courage”. However are some of these rejections truly justified? Or are we simply trying to suppress the commercial architects originality and creative spirit.

Floating London Airport by Norman Foster

London is vastly running out of free land but is still forever expanding as more residents descend to buy or build property. Therefore a new solution to the current demand for a new airport in the capital has been a long time coming. Norman Foster provided plans to build a four-runway airport on the Isle of Grain located in the Thames estuary. It would have been linked to the city by a number of existing and new high speed rail networks. The land considered for this project is currently unsuitable for anything else and would have made British shipping transports easier for container cargo. However this project was one of three to face rejection by London City officials; Norman Foster commented that the decision “lacked courage” and was “sadly predictable.”

Eisenhower Memorial by Frank Gehry

After numerous redesigns the final proposal for the Presidents Memorial was still deemed unsuitable and was eventually not only rejected but abandoned. The Presidents family believed the entire series of plans to be over flamboyant and wanted a memorial that was “simple, sustainable and affordable.” Even though the architect had more than mellowed from his usual style his efforts did not seem in character with the humble persona of Eisenhower himself.

Kimball Art Center Extension by Bjarke Ingels

The Bjarke Ingles Group live up to their names acronym BIG often producing astonishing futuristic architectural designs that are out of this world as well as out of the box. Maybe the mind of eccentric new kid is too much for Utah as they have rejected various proposals from this architect.

Neues Stadt-Casino by Zaha Hadid

Some of the most redound architects find themselves facing the wall of rejection. Despite winning a Switzerland competition for his design of this project 4 years previous it still scrapped. This was mainly due to the time old tradition amongst Switzerland that allows the public to have a final decision on projects that incorporate public money. With 62.5% voting against Zaha Hadid he couldn’t protest and he design was shelved.

Miami Beach Convention Center by Rem Koolhaas

Plans to design a Miami Beach convention Centre at the cost of $1 Billion with 52 acres to cover seemed like a dream come true to this architect. Winning the honour over a considerable number of other famous architects it was heralded “the most important development deal in the history of Miami Beach.” However a reshuffle in the city commission and a new mayor saw the plans becoming to ambitious and disposed of them in replace of something much cost effective that could be achieved quicker.

Grand Avenue, Los Angeles by Gensler & Robert A.M. Stern

A new proposal is on the cards from rival architect Frank Gehry after this architects plans were sadly rejected. Gensler found his design applications were met with negative comments such as “uninspired and overly commercial.” Many of those were also of the opinion that it had been a “hasty collaboration”. They now await new designs from Frank Gehry.

Plaza at Santa Monica by Rem Koolhaas

It all seemed to be smooth sailing for architect Rem Koolhaas as he waited for the official finalisation of his plans. However in a strange turn of events the city council rejected the proposition. It’s not been made wholly clear why this plan was rejected and whether they will still employ the design services of Koolhass.

Cancer Care Center by Steven Holl

Inspired by St Bartholomew’s church the new Cancer Care Centre was set to replace the 1960’s block of Maggie’s Barts Cancer Care centre in London. However though for reasons no one quite understands the proposal was rejected. It isn’t quite understood why as no one had found any questionable objections but yet it still remains cancelled.
For some commercial architects there are reprieves in their careers where their designs and proposals surpass all else that has previously been seen. It is just a combination of public interest, cost effectiveness and practicality that can affect the overall decisions made by committees to pass on large commercial building projects.
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