All posts tagged: architecture

National Centre for Popular Music

A tale of lottery-funded hubris

The Bilbao Guggenheim has a lot to answer for. Its remarkable, undeniable success generated two dubious notions. The first is that what every down-on-its-luck, post-industrial city needs is an ‘iconic’ building. The second is that the quickest way to regenerate that same post-industrial city is to spend big on arts-heritage projects.

Park Hill

Nothing was too good

There are some who say that like ancient Rome, Sheffield was built on seven hills. Whatever the truth of that claim, none of the seven hills of Rome has anything like the Park Hill estate surmounting its brow.

Barbican calthemites

The Barbican endures

Brutalist architecture mostly leaves me cold or repulsed but I’ve always had a liking, verging on an affection, for the Barbican Estate, perhaps because I worked there for six years and got to know its vastness, its labyrinths, and its hidden byways. I’ve always thought that if there was one structure in London that would survive nuclear war or natural catastrophe it would be the Barbican.

The evil in Milner Square

Not to be missed, in the sense that you ought to try Fernet-Branca at least once. A violent, deliberate reaction to the placid Georgian squares around, with the windows laced together in vertical bands. What plain brickwork is left is then carved up by sinister thin pilasters. It is as near to expressing evil as a design can be. (Nairn’s London – Ian Nairn)