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Thread: best building in london?

  1. #1
    simon silverdollar Guest

    Default best building in london?

    for me, it's either the Brunswick centre (like a huge concrete space ship), or the Natural History Museum (cuz it's so gothicky it always takes my breath away...)

    i'm also very fond of the little terraces that come off brick lane tho.

    anyway: what do you think are the best buildings in london?

  2. #2
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    Default well since you asked...

    here's some of my favourites...

    senate haus (hitler wanted this to be the nazi headquarters post-conquest...favourite as in 'utterly terrifying')



    the hayward gallery and all of the goddamn south bank, all the layers and lustrous greys, those surfaces you can run your fingers along...



    the isokon building in hampstead, where the bauhaus exiles in the 30s tried to pretend they didn't live in england...



    and naturally,the trellick tower and environs



    also the post office tower, the gothic mentalism of st pancras station...and a few of the newer things like this, which is round the corner from my flat-


  3. #3
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    Fucking hell, Owen's been reading my diary! Agree with all those choices. I like the gherkin too, very "Coldplay-ish" as architecture goes but very pretty, especially along the alignment of Kingsland road. The BBC building is irrestible.


    My personal favourites don't normally have names -- like that amazing 30s deco block on Charterhouse Square...


    Or that flat-iron-like block of flats in Camberwell.

    Special mention has to go to the John Soane museum -- secret London personified.
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  4. #4
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    Great thread idea!

    Agree with a lot of Owen's comments: I get nervous enough about heights anyway, but Senate House library seriously gives me the willies. Narrow corridors that seem to go nowhere, lightless staircases that float between floors, surprise ankle height views down the side of the building. The stuff of Escher's nightmares. Bonus points for doubling as a New York hotel in Jeeves and Wooster.

    Adore the South Bank Centre; I'm very uncertain about how the makeover is shaping up though. Any thoughts?

    Some favourites of my own:

    Canary Wharf tube. Breathtaking.



    Alexandra Palace: a half-derelict, hubristic, beautiful, useless extravagance. Catch it before it's sold and turned into a casino.



    St Giles Without Cripplegate Church (in the middle of the Barbican). A pretty unremarkable church (inside at least), but I love its location, the way it sits amongst the old London Wall, the Barbican and Richard Rogers' 88 Wood Street.



    (that's actually the Simmonds and Simmonds building in the background, here's the Rogers one:



    Loads more besides: I think the legacy of Victorian, Edwardian and Georgian terraces is one of London's most important architectural features - these are outstanding buildings, all anonymous, which do their jobs superbly.
    Last edited by Rambler; 10-10-2005 at 05:07 PM. Reason: Request for photos...

  5. #5
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    Default i could do this all day

    pictures, Rambler, pictures! mind you some of these are a bit enormous

    canary wharf tube (and north greenwich tube) are pretty astonishing, especially in the neo-albert speer context of the former

    dunno about the south bank makeover, is worrying me a little, but is early days- remember when they were planning to knock down the lot, brrr...

    lots of the stuff posted is kindof UnEnglish, isn't it- in the sense of being in opposition to horrible triumphalist 'landmarks' like this-


    or (shiver) this-



    i'm glad to see (eg BBC building) some big ups for the architecture of the fascist dictatorship that never arrived- in a similar totalitarian deco vein i love 80 the strand (pic is rub, the one in the middle...



    i'm unsure abt the gherkin (coldplay!) but the way that when you go close up to it you feel like it's about to fall on you is kinda cool- but in the area i way prefer the capitalist constructivism of the lloyds building-



    also denys lasdun ist der mann-


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    I'm quite possibly the only person I know to like the dome (yes, I know it's not really a dome, I know its built on a festering swamp, I know it's a monument to all that was and is rotten about old-tory/nu-labour).

    Wish it had been made of PVC as was originally planned, rather than teflon tho.

    Besides, I better be pretty keen on it at as I'm moving next door to it in about 10 days time...

    Agree with owen about the isokon - I also like the fact that they kept up the 'social housing' aspect (renting it out to key workers for reasonable sums), and that Agatha Christie lived there. Oh, okay, so did Groppius and Moholy-Nagy. And that the bar that used to be there was named the Isobar! I think that's really clever.

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    I'll second John Soane's.

    Do Londoners generally consider the BT Tower is an eyesore? I think there's some charm in it's dated futurism and those silly primary-coloured lights that dance around it at night.


  8. #8

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    What I like about the Isokon is that it resembles every single exterior I ever imagined while reading JG Ballard. I keep expecting a bloke in a suit to run out and jump in his car. And then the same bloke to run out seconds later and shoot the him in the car.

    St Pancras station is brilliant, but they keep trying to fuck around with it now. I also really like Hendon Library, but I can't find a pic of it

  9. #9
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    my house

    and these

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    i love the huguenot houses on fournier street. if i was wealthy i'd live in one of these places. sometimes when you walk down there, it feels like a road has been picked up from another country and dropped in the middle of east london.

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    yeah, Fournier Street is brilliant, one of Sarahs old collegues lives next door to the house in Stelfoxs picture it's always getting used for shoots etc, I want to check out Dennis Severs (?) house which is in the area, there is a wonderfull book about it.

  12. #12

    Exclamation

    Quote Originally Posted by simon silverdollar
    for me, it's either the Brunswick centre (like a huge concrete space ship), or the Natural History Museum (cuz it's so gothicky it always takes my breath away...)

    i'm also very fond of the little terraces that come off brick lane tho.

    anyway: what do you think are the best buildings in london?
    i think the, the most wonderful building has to be the canary wharf tower, you can see it from afar as southend to berkshire,to kent to stansted in essex from a plane!!its awesome when you are near it , it dnt look too impressive but from afar its gigantic, im very into views and vistas. rather then a building theres a very exciting victorian bottle dump on the shores of the thames thats a great way to spend a afternoon, brick lane some of those terraces look at night very sinister!!!!scary

  13. #13
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    Default isokon pics

    these are taken during the open house weekend (tho was the building really open to the public, no it bloody wasn't!). I tried to capture the swimming pool-like aspects of the thing, and after martin's comments I'm hoping it looks a bit like what the people on top of the buildings in the Drowned World might do to cool off....

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by stelfox


    i love the huguenot houses on fournier street. if i was wealthy i'd live in one of these places. sometimes when you walk down there, it feels like a road has been picked up from another country and dropped in the middle of east london.
    thats the one behind grick lane innit, tucked behind that hawksmoor church.

    i used to love that street, but now every time i go past it the houses are a little less shabby. i reckon its charm is waning. you know tracey emin lives along there?

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    Quote Originally Posted by WOEBOT
    thats the one behind grick lane innit, tucked behind that hawksmoor church.

    i used to love that street, but now every time i go past it the houses are a little less shabby. i reckon its charm is waning. you know tracey emin lives along there?
    ok, i hate this street now.

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