Aquatics centre will be Olympic winner despite strange spectator wings

The Aquatics Centre will be the most arresting building on the Olympic Park. Frustratingly the finished design will not be seen until after the spectator wings are removed at the end of the year when these ungainly extensions are replaced with glass. I t is curious to commission a building to celebrate the Olympics whichContinue reading “Aquatics centre will be Olympic winner despite strange spectator wings”

Wind powered floodlights could be a better symbol of the Olympics than the arcelormittal orbit

The arcelormittal orbit nears completion but like its name, communicates little. This picture taken after the London Prepares diving championships also shows the rather more elegant combined floodlights and wind turbines.

A beautiful swimming pool but plastic flowers in stainless steel hanging baskets greet visitors to the Olympics

Why spend £9billion on the Olympics and then add plastic flowers in stainless steel hanging baskets on lamposts? The Aquatics Centre is stunning but what you have to look at on the way there is pretty miserable.

Raising the roof twice at King’s Cross

Two new roofs are revealing themselves at King’s Cross Station. The engine shed nears completion with photovoltaic panels adhering the glass and the concourse and ticket office are becoming increasingly visible.

Swimming in the newly-restored Crystal Palace

Crystal Palace Sports Centre has had a modest restoration. A strange building, the wet and dry sections meet in the entrance hall which makes the whole place feel a bit damp. And despite being cathedral-like in its scale, swimming in the fifty-metre lane is very claustrophobic. The best part is the way that the lightsContinue reading “Swimming in the newly-restored Crystal Palace”

Ken Worpole in praise of real public space

At a lecture given at the Garden Museum, writer, academic and chair of Clissold Park Users Group Ken Worpole highlighted the benefits of open space, available to all. He referenced his superb book on public space, democracy and architecture Hear Comes the Sun. I found myself in Clissold Park the next day. For me itContinue reading “Ken Worpole in praise of real public space”

What is the connection between the opening of Westfield in Stratford and the closure of Gaby’s Salt Beef Bar in the Charing Cross Road?

Here is a picture of the hotel at the new Westfield Shopping Centre in Stratford, viewed from the International terminal. And here is a picture of Gaby’s salt beef bar in the Charing Cross Road.  Westfield is about a week old and has been welcomed as the saviour of East London.  Gaby’s is about fiftyContinue reading “What is the connection between the opening of Westfield in Stratford and the closure of Gaby’s Salt Beef Bar in the Charing Cross Road?”

Join me this weekend for two Open House walks

This Sunday I am leading two walks for London Open House.  The first is a guided tour of Golden Lane Estate.  The second is a tour of the City of London’s newest landscape architecture schemes.  Both tours are free but need to be booked through Open House. Booking details for Golden Lane.  Booking details forContinue reading “Join me this weekend for two Open House walks”