Thursday, July 22, 2004

Yesterday I went to London.  For work reasons, not galavanting - there was a condition survey to be done at the Ranger's House in Greenwich Park.  It took the best part of four hours each way - that includes the walk across the park - to get there and I was on site for for an hour and a half.

Anyway, what I wanted to blog about was actually the GLA building.  Or Foster's Testicle as one of the building press once described (to match the phallic symbol on St Mary Axe).  I saw it from the train as I returned to London Bridge from Blackheath.  I was disappointed.  Fleeting glimpses between other buildings is probably not the best way to go about architectural appreciation but that was all I had.

It's not a very impressive building.  Brian has written about it before and included "gratuitous pictures" in some of which it looks considerably more impressive than it is.  I agree with him in that the Porsche headlamp design phase was more striking.  I think it also shows a better relationship to the river than it has now as well.

It isn't very big.  I really thought it was quite a large building.  But the in the view I had it looked rather stumpy.  Perhaps it was just the angle of the view from the train.

On the other hand, I had been determined to dislike the St Mary Axe (Gherkin)  building.  On seeing it - from the same train - I found that it nearly so bad as I thought.  In fact I think I might like it.  It's growing on me.  Though I still think it looks rather large.

I also went through the new part of St Pancras station.  They appear to have moved the milling-about-not-knowing-where-your-train-is area into a new bit.  So, now one can mill about staring at blank info boards under a shiny new glass roof.

And someone has let the clock stop.

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