Automotive delights revealed beneath Westway

Minutes from Paddington Station and sandwiched between the Westway flyover, the Regent’s Canal and the railway line into the station is this wonderful building.  It is outside of what was once a depot for a bus company, then turned into headquarters for the Monsoon fashion organisation and now offices for Nissan Cars.  It may wellContinue reading “Automotive delights revealed beneath Westway”

Getting to the heart of Manchester

The first day of Spring was spent staring at warehouse buildings in Manchester.  Here is ‘Labour and Wait’ a plaque on the side of one of the earliest Co-operative Movement buildings just off Balloon Street in the centre of the city. As a Co-op Bank customer who sends his cheques to number 1 Balloon Street,Continue reading “Getting to the heart of Manchester”

Illegal photography opposite Southwark tube station

Here is an illegal photograph.  I was on  a guided walk yesterday looking at new buildings near South Bank.  This is Palestra Building, home to Design for London, Transport for London and London Energy advice service, all not very secretive organisations funded by the tax payer when we were accosted by a security guard whoContinue reading “Illegal photography opposite Southwark tube station”

Smithfield crushed

Smithfield House is no more.  On the edge of the market, it was used by squatters for a couple of years and briefly as headquarters for the London Architecture Festival.  It is now the site for one of the entrances to Farringdon Crossrail station. This was taken on the walk led by typographer Phil BainesContinue reading “Smithfield crushed”

A poor photo and a perfect photo opportunity

This is a poor picture but a brilliant view.  Taken from Fenchurch Street, on the left is the recently-completed Willis Building.  The most popular view of this block is looking into the three curves that face the Lloyds Building. From this point of view, the convex external wall is visible and one of the roofContinue reading “A poor photo and a perfect photo opportunity”

Typographic glamour

This is a detail from the Port of London Authority cold store building in Smithfield.  It is an easily-overlooked example of typography in the public realm, in this case, apparently the only example in London of ceramic tiles being used to infill lettering on a building.  Look carefully and you will see that each letterContinue reading “Typographic glamour”

St Mary-le-Bow Square

This tiny square next to the Church of St Mary-le-Bow has recently been upgraded by the City of London Corporation.  The designer is landscape architects Burns and Nice who also did the square outside the Old Bailey.  The motif is of middle-eastern influence.  The square had been blighted by the construction of Bow Bells HouseContinue reading “St Mary-le-Bow Square”

Gresham Street

This is the Lloyds TSB building in Gresham Street opposite Goldsmith’s Hall. Designed by Nicholas Grimshaw, it has a slate and steel facade.  There’s lots of joints and connections that give the building a satisfyingly Meccano-like quality – it looks hand-bolted together.  The building hovers above an ancient garden and is absolutely full of intricateContinue reading “Gresham Street”

Lloyds Register

This is a view from underneath one of the external lifts in the Lloyds Register Building. Like the Lloyds Insurance Building, it shares an architect – Richard Rogers. Unlike the Lloyds Building, this is very easy to view at a close distance. The lifts make a satisfyingly clunky noise as they move up and down andContinue reading “Lloyds Register”