Monday, September 24, 2007

Return of the prodigal son

Broadgate Tower, 23 September 2007Every time I've gone past the Broadgate Tower over the past few months I've felt very strong feelings. I went to see a therapist about it and she told me my feelings of guilt at having abandoned it at such a tender stage were eating away at me, and would probably eventually result in a horrendous crime on my part. Such as a string of unexplained shopliftings.

Horrified by the prospect of the good proprietors of East London being terrorised and out of pocket, I made it a priority to visit the tower just as soon as I got my arse into gear.

I have now fulfilled my pledge. I think I'll get a few posts out of the visit. First, a general overview.

As you can tell from the photo the tower is considerable more glazed than it used to be. Less obvious in a daytime photo (I'll have to take a night time one soon), is that once they glaze a floor they also put in lights and, maybe, partitions within the floors. The top two-or-so unglazed floors shine one very bright light out at night, but the lower floors twinkle with lots of smaller lights.

P1020732P1020733Speaking of the glazing, it really does emphasise the difference in the pattern of struts between the sides of 201 Bishopsgate and The Broadgate Tower. The Tower's Diamonds look a lot more balanced than the 2 vertical zigzags of 201 Bishopsgate. Why they chose to include them at all is a mystery as they don't make an apperance anywhere else on the building - clean vertical lines dominate elsewhere. Re-looking at the photo now, I think just verticals would look like a harsh 80's tower block - something to avoid - but the zigzags don't work either. Perhaps extending the tiered/faceted look of the rear around to the side would have worked better. But what's done is done.

On the back of the tower, however, the broken diamonds look works quite well. Quite cleverly done, really.


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