The key point in the airports row is, I think, that the technocrats can rule options out but only the politicians can rule them in. For example, the industry, the air traffic controllers, and the transport planners are keen on Heathrow, but it’s politically difficult. On the other hand, the planners, the controllers, and the…Read More so where will that airport end up?
Here’s a good piece on Tobacco Dock, where the soldiers covering for “can we call them Group Snore again?” G4S are camping. Wikipedia points out that it’s a building of great historic significance, marking the transition between buildings that incidentally used iron and ones that used it in their structure, and being the work of…Read More it’s a taster of the legacy experience
Paul Klee’s students apparently celebrated his 50th birthday by dropping presents through his (flat) roof at the Bauhaus from a Junkers aircraft. An interesting story, although Mark Brown doesn’t pick up on it (Rowan Moore does here but only superficially). Junkers was the home-town industry of Dessau by then, which is probably why the students…Read More Birthday present bomber
I have just finished reading The Stones of London: A History in 12 Buildings. Not a gem by any means – far too much broadbrush Tory-ish and not much of an edge – but I did think he had a couple of good points. One was in the chapter on Keeling House and Denys Lasdun,…Read More Not the kittens!
I have just been reading the catalogue for the Design Museum’s exhibition on Kenneth Grange. An interesting thought – he makes the very good point that the problem with both the matt-black Apple laptops and the iDevices is that they soak up oil and fingerprints and human grease in general. This is of course the…Read More things that didn’t happen: Ken Grange edition
There’s a good story to be told (somewhat in the New New mode) about the old Eurostar terminal at Waterloo Station. It’s basically as follows: after the Eurostars moved to the new St. Pancras, the thrillingly modern structure Nicholas Grimshaw gave them was abandoned to rot by “Sir” Brian Souter’s privatised train empire and eventually…Read More outrage turns out not so outrageous and actually quite sensible
Quiggin is discussing why some things are neo- and others are post-. How do we deal with the current revival of high modernism (see Owen Hatherley’s blog and indeed his career, the proliferating Mid-Century Modern groups on Flickr, the wave of preservation campaigns for mid-20th century landmarks)? It’s obviously silly to call it post-modernism and…Read More post-IKEA and indeed post-furniture
Is if the exploiters miss you out, said Joan Robinson of capitalism. A twofer of Owen Hatherley on Manchester. Thoughts: it’s surely a slightly odd idea that London is rich because of the housing market, rather than the other way around, although I can certainly imagine an unusually dense Blairite town-hall politician getting that impression.…Read More the only thing worse than being exploited…
Do I notice a common style between Nasr City Security Crisis Management Centre and Erich Mielke’s office? Lots of blonde panelling, display walls of spook stars. Of course, Egypt’s secret police had both Soviet and East German advisors in the Nasser years, but you wouldn’t have expected that to include an interior designer.Read More get the look
Supermarkets are getting smaller. I wonder if the productivity numbers that famously put the 90s down to big box retail will ever be revised? Of course, they didn’t really – the UK imposed planning restrictions on big out-of-town developments and didn’t notice any trouble, and the real point was the logistics rather than the shops…Read More Inverse BOGOF