Tuesday, May 22, 2007

A scaffold is for life, not just for construction

texturamaI was scathing in my views the other day of the eventual surface the Broadgate Tower is to have; all silky smooth transparent pale glass. I think it would look much nicer were it to be surrounded by something a bit like the cluttered cross-strutting of the cranes and lift tracks.

Bear with me.

Since Richard Rogers built the Centre Pompidou and the Lloyds Building it is no longer shameful to unabashedly include the utilitarian parts of a building as an integral part of its aesthetic design. It's not too big a flight of fancy to suppose that leaving bits of structure resembling cranes etc. when the building is complete could have similar aesthetic appeal.

Well, I think the mixture of clutter and regularity is pleasing to the eye anyway. Almost like a Jackson Pollock.

1 Plantation placeThere is a recent precedent to a London City Building having a wireframe type structure around its exterior, namely 1Plantation Place (pictured. The building to the right is the "will they/won't they replace it with an oversized communication device 20 Fenchurch Street). The outer layer of glass - set a good metre or 2 out of reach of the inner one - is designed to stop rain getting in through the inner windows, which open to allow air to circulate. The end result is something that looks a bit like pinhead from hellraiser... but I like it. There's a recent upstart to the mechano/lego throne called k'nex, and it looks almost as if it's built out of the stuff, which is a good thing.

As demonstrated in this photo (click for much bigger) 1 Plantation place does tower above most of its riverside neighbours. It also only finished construction in 2004, but went unnoticed by me, even though in 2004 I did walk regularly home from work along the More London side of the river.

The point being, I should be a bit more liberal about my 100m minimum for buildings covered in this blog. I see plenty of cranes around and I really should show a lot more verve in investigating them.


Anonymous said...

Can't agree more. A skyscraper doesn't have some arbitary height limit, it's all about the effect it has on the surroundings as to whether it appears to scrape the sky. Why not cover interesting construction sites, not just tall ones?

Rhysickle said...

Time is a cruel mistress I'm afraid. The more construction sites I visit the less able I am to write up the how's, why's and who-put-that-there's.

Another thing which is also frustrating is that you will see a building site from the distance, but when you get closer it can be quite difficult to pinpoint exactly which streets to walk down to get to it.

What I need is a full time PA/helicopter pilot!

Bygningsentreprise said...

Scaffold help construction workers to build a very high building and it makes the lives of those workers put into a safe one. So it is a big help for them. Maybe we can call it as a Scaffold is a pro-construction workers.

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