Saturday, March 24, 2007

Architects know best

I was going to start this post with a jokey 'photo of the Elephant and CAstle shoping centre accompanied by a "See!"', but this is far funnier:

'It's always been a fun item, and references to the area name (taken from an olde pub) just adds to its cuteness. It even spent some years painted in a sickly pink, a huge homage to the in-joke.'

I think Charles is serious, judging by the rest of his website. Will have to return and read more some day as it looks to be thoroughly well put together. It has a piece on how Euston used to look before it looked, well, hideous.

Anyway, back to the theme - architects know best. I'm just going to compile a selection of opinions voiced by architects and architectural bodies regarding the Walkie Talkie. Then we can have some sort of head count by way of a face-off.
  • The property giant won support to go ahead with plans for the 39-storey tower from a range of modernist architects, reported to include Lord Norman Foster & Lord Richard Rogers.
  • Frank Gehry [responsible for the amazing looking building to the right] added his endorsement, telling the inquiry in a written letter that the building would represent a “great addition to the London skyline,” The Financial Times reported.
  • Former Riba president George Ferguson has criticised Rafael Vinoly’s designs for the ‘Walkie Talkie’ tower at 20 Fenchurch Street. Ferguson said “You can justify these buildings in London if they are exceptionally good, but this is a child’s concept,”
  • CABE, the government’s design watchdog, which said the tower could offer an “extraordinary public space” and “unrivalled views.”
So that's about 5-1 to the pro Walkie Talkie people... but I think man of the match must go to George Ferguson - scathing!

I do agree with him though. When I was little, me and my brother used to draw futuristic moon space stations which, come to think of it, looked just like today's Shanghai skyline. The Walkie Talkie would have fitted in perfectly, and that is not a good thing: We also drew huge man-eating monsters. Build the walkie talkie and we are but a childish step away from Godzilla style mayhem.

I've just remembered a dream I had last night. I was looking at a fort which I was sure was the Kremlin. In the middle of the fort was a big Germanic looking house stood atop a slender tower. It looked pretty cool, unlike some other top heavy buildings.

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