Barbican YMCA to close: a great building in a search of a purpose

Barbican YMCA will close in September. It is a great building with a superb central staircase. It has been neglected and is now in need of a sympathetic conversion to something useful.

North bank becoming as pedestrian-friendly as south bank

Completion of Watermark Place and the riverside walkway has created a pedestrian-friendly walk to rival that on the South Bank. The monumental Mondial House telephone exchange building, famously modelled on a typewriter key board and clad in white fibre glass, has given way to a building set back from the river and partly clad inContinue reading “North bank becoming as pedestrian-friendly as south bank”

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”

Paternoster Square becomes a maze of riot barriers

Elizabeth Frink’s Paternoster surveys a square composed entirely of riot barriers. In an effort to keep Paternoster Square both open and closed a maze of metal barriers has been set up so that pedestrians can walk but not have the space to pitch a tent. A particularly warped logician must have dreamed up this pattern.