Thursday, November 16, 2006

Willis building

Willis building
Originally uploaded by Rhysickle.
Here's the definitive picture of the Willis Building from the day; yes, it is a bit overexposed. It's smack bang in the middle of some other tallish buildings (including the Gherkin), so it's nigh on impossible to take a step back to take the whole thing in in one photo. This is the best I could do.

The Willis Building is a 3 tier building. While I'm playing catch up with the write ups, and while the not bad at all Lead Balloon is on TV in quarter of an hour, I shan't go any further with the facts concerning its architecture for now.

Did you notice that? I slipped in the word 'architecture' - there it is again. I checked Technorati out of curiosity, to see if my blog appeared anywhere near the front page on searches. It was number 5 for quite some time on searches for London Building; nowhere on London Architecture though. That will all change though. Architecture architecture architecture. London London London. Skyscraper.

Manipulative - moi?

So a pretty poor photo, but as I remarked and videoed earlier, the most aesthetically pleasing of the new buildings I visited. Here's a better photo. Notice the gap in the netting around the top - that's for the crane to hoist things (possibly 2 men in a bucket) up. The building opposite is pretty unusual. The closest London comes to the Pompidou Centre. My feelings towards it are vague.

It does however exemplify a point I will, in a roundabout way, try to make with this blog; that modern buildings do not automatically qualify as eyesores simply because they're near old buildings. Andrew Marr (or possibly the other, fatter version of him. John something - answers please?) reckons Millbank Tower is an eysore simply because its within a mile or so of the Houses of Parliament, when it's actually not too bad a building.

So, the Pompidou-esque building is built where - presumably - once stood an English bank or insurance firm building of the classical tradition. Here's what's left:

Notice you can see right through the windows above the archway. That's right - it's just a facade. The combination with the ultra modern builidng behind is uncanny, interesting to look at and awe-inspiring. Certainly not ugly or catastrophically damaging to the standing of the older of the two structures. St Paul's cathedral is on a slightly different scale, but the principle still applies: modern next to ancient is not neccesserily a bad thing.

Compare with this faux-gothic, pander to the ancient architecture corporate sculpture. Ugly weak folly.

I've missed the start of Lead Balloon, so to finish quickly, here's a rather lovely image I ran 100s of yards and dropped my camera case in a puddle for. It's a crock of Willis Building construction site at the end of the Rainbow.

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