Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Warwick Quadrant, Redhill, Surrey (1985)

I didn't have time for a proper look around Redhill but was drawn toward it by the feeling that there might be something there better than the heritage default that seems to dominate the areas surrounding it.
The best I could do in the time available was the Warwick Quadrant which doesn't exactly kick the ball out of the park but it is at least not cringing in the shadow of anything and I did quite enjoy the very 80's Po-Mo arcade, which has a good scale and some civic intention, plus it's got a library and a theatre within, like a jaunty Trumpton Barbican.
The 'brick plus red metal windows' is a style I'm quite fond of too although it was more commonly used for fire stations than culture palaces. How comfortable those rugged fire fighters feel in their toy-town HQ's is something that irritates my mind, from time to time.
there's drama in that canopy

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

All Watched Over By Machines of Loving Grace

Very much enjoyed the first of these documentaries (BBC2 monday 23rd May) which wove together the worlds of global finance and the philosophy of writer Ayn Rand.

We were shown a bit of the final scene from the film of her novel 'The Fountainhead' where Gary Cooper stands grimacing on top of one of his skyscrapers and this reminded me of a hilarious review of the film I read at the beginning of my interest in blogging a couple of years ago.  Just re-read it now and laughed my head off - check it out.

Thursday, 5 May 2011

from Wanchai, up high

Great mobile phone image of Hong Kong at night emailed to me by a friend last month - with the IFC tower visible in the middle distance.

Wednesday, 4 May 2011


This John Simm and Jim Broadbent 3 parter, which screened its final episode last night, seemed to have a good eye for architecture and an unusually egalitarian approach to the fabric of the main locations, these being the 'aspirational' eighties estate of detached pitched roofed brick houses where Simm's best mate lived and his Dad's larger Victorian house with it's lantern-like front porch.

In it's portrayal of the estate it put me in mind of David Rayson's unswerving stare - and made me wonder to what extent (if at all) this aesthetic has been assimilated into the architectural mainstream.. - but the fact that the more middle class home of the journalist's family was treated with equal care and, one might even say, affection...was a refreshing surprise.

There's also a pretty funny hallway scene in which a magnificent hardwood newel post seems poised to join in with the dialogue like a shiny wooden muppet.