A peek at part of BBC Bristol, Whiteladies Road, Bristol
A sympathetic 1980s extension of the old 1934 BBC studios begins at the left.
Picking up architectural details, scale, proportions, texture and colour from the traditionally sober original, the new buildings managed to avoid the brutalism of the sixties as well as the ubiquitous Toytown façades that were all the rage elsewhere in the city in the eighties.
The effect is only let down by the crass insertion of a vent in the left hand blind entrance and a failure to reinstate the missing urn, the shadow staining of which is still visible.
We’re in Venice now, barcarolling in a gondola, admiring the façades as we float down a canal, viewing heraldic beasts and shields, noting the familiar lancet windows and rounded arches.
Except we’re not. Continue reading
BBC Broadcasting House, London, February 2013
One can quibble with a couple of details, but the 2013 addition to the original 1922 Arc Deco Broadcasting House is sympathetic in scale, colour and use of materials.
Though symmetry is suggested, a closer examination shows that a lot of licence has been taken, especially with the curved linking building in which the main entrance is located.
The pedestrian-only forecourt and the enclosing arms of the wings suggest a public-friendly approach by the BBC.
Let’s hope that in the wake of recent scandals the public remain friendly to Auntie Beeb.
Much of central London seems to double as a stage set, and this scene (I’m pretty sure it’s Piccadilly) is like something out of a Renaissance theatre design.
I was particularly struck by the way the eye is led through the arches, though it’s hard to resist the urge to look upwards.
It’s also unnerving that many of the different façades are not at right angles to each other.
Intriguing enough to take a snap of it, at the very least.
Stokes Croft, Bristol
Another example of individuality within conformity.
Red brick and uniform shop frontages unite the ensemble.
On the left, a Dutch gable tops off a severely classical façade.
In the centre sits a utilitarian design, probably fronting a workshop or warehouse.
On the right a more Baroque interpretation is also surmounted by a Dutch-inspired pediment with the merest hint of curves.
You might just spot a 20th-century building peeping over the top, but despite being brick-faced for me its height and mass would not class it as a Good Neighbour.
Kensington High Street, like many shopping thoroughfares, has so much to distract at ground level that it’s easy to miss a lot of what’s above head height. Continue reading
Regent’s Canal mansion
A couple of the handful of mansions that overlook Regent’s Canal, aloof and disdainful of the hoi-polloi that pass on the towpath on the opposite bank.
Or is that just green-eyed Envy speaking? Continue reading