Some of the problems were created by changes to the plan, Irene Start, a spokesperson for MVRDV, said in a telephone interview. The company had originally hoped to build the hill over the 19th-century marble arch, which is similar to the Arc de Triomphe in Paris.
But the company had been told that covering the arch for six months could damage it, so they had to redesign the hill, making it smaller and steeper. Having steeper walls made it more difficult to plant suitable vegetation, she said.
On Wednesday, everyone at the mound was not critical. Alison Nettleship, along with her children, said she heard the bad reviews but decided to visit anyway. “We were prepared for a disaster,” she said, “so it was fun to laugh. “
His 14-year-old son Thomas said he liked buildings and liked being able to see scaffolding up close. “People are impatient,” he said of the complaints.
The family intended to return in the fall after the trees changed color, Ms Nettleship said.
The mound isn’t the first London tourist attraction to be mocked. The Millennium Dome, a giant white tent erected in the east of the city to celebrate the turn of the millennium, is now home to several successful concert halls, but was widely vilified after it opened in 2000.
Boris Johnson, now British Prime Minister, was the magazine’s editor at the time and suggested the attraction should be blown up because it was so bad. “There must be some form of public humiliation,” he said, adding, “I would love to see everyone responsible for the contents of the dome eat a humble pie. “