He was famously forced to step down as chair of the Institute of Contemporary Art after describing conceptual art as “craftless tat” but now entrepreneur Ivan Massow — one-time candidate for Mayor of London — is facing stern criticism of his own artistic endeavors. His plan to add a glass extension to the roof of his Hoxton home has been thrown out by Hackney council and damned by a planning inspector as “overbearing”.
© Matt Writtle
The proposal was for a glass “pod” that Mr Massow wanted to add to the roof of his three-storey home — a converted printworks with a cinema in the basement. It is thought he wanted extra space for his growing art collection — which includes about 30 portraits and sculptures of himself.
The striking-looking pod would have had folding doors which could have been opened to look onto Hoxton Square. A silver mesh staircase running outside the building would then have acted as a trellis for climbing plants.
But Hackney council was not impressed and vetoed the plans after five neighbours complained about an invasion of their privacy, and because council officers felt the modern design would “jar” with adjoining period buildings.
A government planning inspector has backed Hackney council’s stance, rejecting an appeal by Mr Massow against its decision.
Simon Warder described the plan as “conspicuous” and “eye catching” but felt it would have an “overbearing” effect on views of Hoxton Square.
It is understood that Mr Massow is now redrawing the plans and intends to resubmit them to Hackney council later this year. He declined to comment.
“It is deeply frustrating,” said a source.