Name the West Hampstead Square towers

Whether or not you’re a fan of the West Hampstead Square development, it’s already well underway. Some of you have been into the marketing suite, which showcases the fixtures and fittings of the apartments (vintage, despite the modern architecture), and plenty more of you have been gazing through the window at the rather large model of the development.

For people who haven’t yet realised how big this scheme is, the model (which lights up at night rather pleasingly) gives some idea. West End Lane is on the right.

The tower blocks, which range from 5 storeys to 12, are currently named “A, B, C… etc.” Dull, right?

I had a word with Ballymore and it is willing to let whampers come up with names for each building. It’s competition time folks.

Get thinking
You need to come up with a name for each of the seven blocks in the development. Ballymore (not me) will choose the winner and there’s a caveat here – because these will be actual addresses of people’s properties, they have to be approved by the council too, so bear that in mind.

The winner will be the person who makes the most suggestions that are then used in the final building names. That person will win a three-course dinner for two with a tasting glass of wine paired with each course at The Wet Fish Café, and will be invited to the opening, along with knowing that they’ve helped to shape the built landscape of West Hampstead. Should a building name that has been submitted by other readers aside from the winner be chosen, they too will be invited to the opening.

There are no other parameters. I’m sure some of you will have some choice suggestions that clearly won’t get selected, and I’m braced for people who’ll say “we’re doing Ballymore’s job for them”, but why not look at the positives, help shape the place we live and bring these buildings into the community.

If you can’t come up with seven names, then why not suggest as many as you can – they may still get selected.

As I said, there are no other criteria – i will tell you that the marketing campaign is built around “Connections”, but that doesn’t have to influence you. I’ve already bagged Jimelda Towers by the way, in honour of our local thespian couple.

Send your suggestions to moc.e1495536395filda1495536395etspm1495536395ahtse1495536395w@sno1495536395itite1495536395pmoc1495536395. Deadline is midnight September 2nd.

Good luck

  • bubela

    You've bagged Jimelda Towers? That leaves Gregemma House for me then.

  • Let me be the first to say,
    Bashful, Doc, Dopey, Grumpy Happy, Sleepy, Sneezy.

    • If only you WERE the first.. had that e-mailed in already! 🙂

  • or, in honour of our (probably closed by then) fire station…

    Pugh, Pugh, Barney McGrew, Cuthbert, Dibble and Grubb.

    (I know that is only 6 names and one is repeated, but at least it is most of them covered).

    • We could add Windy Miller for the set of 7?

  • Anonymous

    Sorry to be a killjoy but I actually think they should stick with letters of the alphabet (A, B, C etc.) as it's much easier for people to locate the building they are looking for. I know it's a bit boring but it's practical and surely that's the most important thing?

    • You must love Alphabet City on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. I suspect people can probably cope with working out which building they want with the aid of some sort of signage, or the names could start with consecutive letters of the alphabet?

      Personally I think A…G enforces the idea that it’s a separate development with its own internal logic, rather than something that’s part of the area. I’d even prefer 1…7, which would be more consistent with them being buildings off a street.

    • Anonymous

      Ok so Alphabet City and USA street names in general (e.g. 24th St) are pretty boring and I much prefer our street names but I think that’s slightly different to naming individual blocks.

      Could you imagine how difficult it would be to find an address if every house in every street had a name rather than a number? Many villages have addresses like this and it can take ages to find the address you’re after.

      I’ve lost count of how many times people have walked up to me in West Hampstead asking if I know where so and so mansion/house is.

      If you’re looking for block F (or 6), you know it’s going to be after E (or 5). If you start giving blocks names then you often have to look at a map/sign to find out where you’re destination is.

      Having spent years travelling to many different addresses everyday, I can’t begin to tell you how frustrating it is trying to find buildings that have names rather than numbers (or letter). It makes things so much more confusing and wastes a lot of time. I’m sure anyone who has to regularly travel to new/unknown addresses would agree.

      Personally practicality is much more important than, well, vanity but I do think you’ve done very well to get Ballymore to agree to do this, so good on you for convincing them to let the local community decide.

      I don’t think giving each block a number or letter will make them feel like they are separate developments but the way the developers have divided the “affordable” housing and private housing probably will (but then we couldn’t have different classes mixing now, could we?)

    • Generally agree, and if it was a larger, or less linear development, I’d sympathise with the plight of those trying to find their way. However, for 7 buildings in a row, accessed by one road only I don’t think it’s going to give anyone a headache to read signs with words on them any more than signs with letters/numbers on them

      My idea isn’t to make each individual block feel integrated – no question that the whole development will feel coherent – rather to make the development as a whole more integrated with the rest of West Hampstead. I know it’s probably futile, but worth trying.

      Totally agree with you about the affordable/private segregation, even understanding why RSLs prefer aggregation of units. Nevertheless, it’s a shame they’re all consigned to the narrowest furthest part of the development

  • How about after some distinguished residents of the past…Evelyn Waugh, Thomas Hardy, A. A. Milne, George Orwell, T. S. Eliot and H. G. Wells. Thats only 6… maybe we can throw in Thompson Towers for Emma Thompson as she's such a proud Whamper?? Or Victoria Mansions as this is where Queen Victoria used to stroll when it was rolling countryside. Very regal indeed!

  • The prize will be a 3-course dinner with a tasting glass of wine paired with each course.

    We're excited to be involved – good luck one and all!

    (Personally – crossing fingers for names that tell West Hampstead's story!)

    • Thanks André, have just amended the main text to clarify.

      Feel free to enter yourself – even if the prize might not be as exciting for you!

  • Marciamac

    Any luminaries whose names were adopted by these ugly, ugly, ugly buildings (sorry, I like my architecture old-fashioned and traditional) will turn in their graves. All I can come up with is ugly, uglier, ugliest and then something rude, ruder and rudest for the next three, and then, oh, I don’t know. They are truly horrible. I wouldn’t want to live in one and am sorry I’ll have to look at them every day when I walk down WEL.

  • The tower is so beautiful, therefore I would like to suggest a name it’s majestic tower.

  • I'm not a fan so I would chuck in War, Pestilence, Famine, Death, Bankers, Offshore and Boris.

  • Anonymous

    They should be called posh boys names as a reflection of the only sector of society who can seemingly afford to buy a house in the area:

    Quentin
    Hugo
    Sebastian
    Tarquin
    Rufus
    Fabian
    Tobias

  • Anonymous

    When will the names be announced?

    • I don't have a definitive answer for that. Ballymore is looking at them now and making a decision, but no date has been announced.