The Loneliest Building in London
How a privately owned tower block isolated its inhabitants
A tower block in London’s Aldgate East is being hailed as the “loneliest building in all of London” by both inhabitants and community programs alike.
The building's design has been made to the owner's specifications, which experts say appear to be intended to isolate every inhabitant from both their neighbours and the outside world.
This information has come to light due to the insight of one elderly woman who wishes to remain anonymous, who became concerned as the inhabitants appeared “more and more lonely every day”.
Confusingly, the lower floors of the Aldgate Tower block have been left vacant, even to the point that rooms remained unfurnished and unfinished up to the fourth floor of the building.
Higher floors have confusing plans, filled with corridors that are not quite maze-like, but seem empty and abandoned even when inhabited.
Which apartments were inhabited was unclear until a close examination of the floorplans revealed that not all doors lead to apartments. Approximately every other door on each corridor does not lead to any rooms, but to an empty stretch of space. Whether these empty rooms ever had a storage purpose is unclear, as none appear to be in use, and no one but the building’s concierge(who keeps frustratingly irregular hours) had keys to them.
In contrast to this vast waste of housing spaces the apartments for rent were oddly small. Appearing spacious at first, most rooms were of impractical sizes, and several of the architects involved have stated that this was the exact thing they had advised not to include in the building plan.
One inhabitant who showed us her impractical flat stated: “I’ve never seen anyone on my floor at all, despite having lived here for several months. The only times I met people were in the lobby, and perhaps once in the elevator.”
The aforementioned elevators are beyond small, and though up to current building codes, they barely fit more than two people at a time.
Another inhabitant informed us that he was “only still here because the rent is decent, even though the place is damned lonely”.
The cost of rent for each apartment is indeed astonishingly cheap compared to the current London median rent. Knowing this, the fact that half the building should have remained empty is even more astounding.
Was all this wasted space simply mismanagement of the design and renting out of the building? All architects and designers involved in the building process were contracted separately, and all of those we have been able to reach stated the same thing: that they were only asked to design one specific part or a few details about the building, under a variety of pretenses. A small part of the contracted designers was asked about what not to do when building a tower block like this- advice which was in all cases ignored. Some were even unaware which building their design was for until contacted by this newspaper.
The owner of the Aldgate Tower block could not be reached for comments or explanations on the design of the building or the empty parts of the tower block. Indeed, who the owner is remains unclear, as various inhabitants referred to him as “Luke”, “Pete” and “Patrick”, and even the only discernible employee, the concierge: “I don’t recall his name, he’s rather forgettable.”
Several community programs have begun reaching out to the inhabitants to involve them in the life of the neighbourhood, with what seems like great success despite the short time they have been at work for the inhabitants of the Aldgate East Towerblock.
Though the programs are hopeful that no lasting problems will remain, one spokesperson has said that “This horror should never have been allowed to happen, especially in today’s highly interconnected society. That these people were forgotten for so long is an outrage, and we fully support the class action lawsuit which some of the inhabitants are considering.”
How the newspaper had found its way to Peter’s desk he could not say, but there it was. Suspiciously, it was laid out neatly to display its loud headline to whoever entered the office, not towards the chair behind the desk. Arranged so that it would be visible as soon as one entered the office. Peter’s office. Which no one but Peter ever entered.
He was halfway through the blasted article when the phone on his desk started ringing. It didn’t stop ringing for the rest of the day.
Peter never picked up the calls.
Perhaps it was time to return to the Tundra.