Wednesday, June 20, 2007

A castle under siege

English Heritage love the Tower of London.

And it's not surprising, what with it being such a pivotal place for the heritage of England, and they sure love that English heritage.

Not to mention a clear line of sight to the walls which contain that English heritage for miles around. They love the notion of that too. But they can't have it, as the building is already surrounded by blots, blights and carbuncles.

Tower of London eyesore hotelEugh! This is undoubtedly the worst offender. It was voted London's second most hated building during architecture week 2006 (a very representative 512 people - approx 0.0064% of the London population - cast votes).

Is Prince Charles right to condemn the 60's and 70's as the worst architectural period? Probably, as very many concrete buildings built in those times are already being knocked down. 30 years is a very short life span, which indicates that something was critically wrong with them. And it's certainly not the building materials. Concrete - as the concrete society (nearly as absurd an organisation as the Egg Information Service ("Hello - I'd like to know about eggs please" "Well you've certainly come to the right place.")) would no doubt back up - revolutionised construction when discovered by the Romans due to its strength.

Tower of london glass building 1Tower of london glass building 2These two are also... well, not too bad to be honest.

But they shouldn't be there. No, no, no, no, no! Get in the way of the heritage you see. Just look at that Indian fella there; looks proper distressed he does. Some people would say he's a bit alarmed at being the apparent subject of a photo taken by a complete stranger, but I think it's unlikely. No - heritage it is. Can't concentrate on it, what with a living city going on around him.

tower bridgeHang on - wasn't this supposed to be about eyesores around the Tower? Isn't that Tower Bridge, icon of the City of London, probably far more recognisable, elegant and beautiful than the Tower ever has, is or will be?

Ah yes - but it is of modern construct - Victorian era - so is a bit of an impostor. And would you just lok at the garish blue, and the quite frankly silly idealised faux-medieval turrets. It's worse than garish I tell you. Has no place next to that great bastion of British history - the Tower of London.

But... but... but... it looks nice

That's no matter - it has to go. How are people supposed to appreciate the heritage with that frilly monstrosity next door? It'll put them right off their Tudors!

(*Plays trump card*)Well - I'm English Heritage, so I'm right about everything to do with architecture even though heritage and architecture are by no means synonymous... and I say it can stay... so there!


kate said...

welcome back :-) I've also rediscovered the joys of reading as opposed to watching the TV over the weekend. I'm already half way through 'the Kite runner' by Khaled Hosseini (good book by the way if you're still looking for another to read) which for me is amazing.

Anonymous said...

Update your blog!

Baz said...

wicked blog mate, the buildings in london never cease to amaze me, was in shoreditch last weekend and spent half my time staring up at the broadgate and bishopsgate towers, superb

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