Well this weekend’s been a short one, Saturday was a work day, which is the first for a while; and it started in the fog, crashing up the M1 avoiding people who don’t look in their mirrors before changing lanes, we ended up at MeadowHall in Sheffield to pick up a mini-dv to DV connecter for my powerbook which was an interesting experience before zooming off to a business meeting in central Sheffield.
Sheffield’s an interesting place, I’ve not been for years; and it’s looking a little worse for wear in places, it’s still that odd mix of swanky new flats and crumbling buildings, a bit like the Docklands of 10 years ago, there are a million great urbex sites, but I don’t think I’ll ever be able to get up there with that in mind without prior commitments for business, but you never know, with some forward planning it might happen. Meeting successfully concluded it was time to bimble down memory lane, both with family ties in South Yorks we tore around the back roads before eventually hitting the A1 again for the trip back down south, calling in on the parents briefly to find a strange transposition as I find myself and my brother talking about work, while my parents (although both gainfully employed) talking about being students, dad doing a degree and mum doing an optician’s assistant course.
And so to Sunday, spent mainly in bed, catching up on all the sleep we’d missed during the week and saturday, browsing the net for houses and catching up on the papers, spooks and some other stuff the media server had caught for us during the week, and so the weekend ended… back to the grindstone for another week, and a busy one it’s going to be too, so that’s my weekend, how was yours?
Ha Ha! I bet some smug editor at the BBC is crying into their coffee this afternoon as Centre Pointcame bottom of the 5 “ugliest” buildings in London, despite BBC LDN appearing to try and rig the vote by using only Centre Point’s image in the web article and making a point of describing it as pre-cast concrete (something they failed to do for all the others despite at least 3 of them being of the same construction). But it appears that the public have voted with their feet ignoring the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment’s assertions that it’s a bad building because the pavement around it is small and the BBC’s apparent bias against the building.
Centre Point is obviously well loved as it only got 6% of the vote, with the generally loved 30 St.Mary’s Axe getting a higher proportion of the vote, which in my opinion is a good thing: yes some 60’s architecture was rubbish, some was poorly thought out and even more poorly constructed, but Centre Point, and several others (including Goldfinger’s masterpiece Trellick Tower) are having a renascence, and rightly so, as they’re fantastic buildings that are iconic and of their time, testament to the designers who conceived them and the materials they’re made out of.
A very interesting article for anyone who’s fascinated by odd buildings: a profile on the Bank of England, including some facts about the second largest gold bullion in the world being below the Bank, and how the vaults underneath the 3 acre site of the Bank in the heart of the city being larger in floor space than Tower 42: Having said that anyone that’s followed the history of London buildings will know that floor space was always Tower 42 (or as it was then: The Natwest Tower’s) achilles heal, it’s unique cantilevered design that gives it such a small street footprint impinging on it’s internal square footage from the very moment it was placed on the drawing board, although at the time of design the lack of internal pillars within each ‘leaf’ of the tower was seen as sufficient as they’d failed to foresee the future of large electronic trading floors.
Save the Golden Hinde, it’s a hidden gem on the South Bank, it’s an important part of English history, and frankly it’s an important part of the South Banks recent local history, just go… take a look around, donate what you can, and let’s stop some ghastly american museum from turning it into a floating Krispy Kreme, or whatever they’ll do to it, because I can guarantee one thing, if it does sail for the states it may as well be turned into a fast food joint, as Britain will never see it again, and it’ll be yet another part of our history taken off us because another nation sees it as a novelty, British History is precious, let’s save it.