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”

Strange days in Smithfield

A great view of the grand arcade in Smithfield Market.  What will happen to it?  The controversy arising from plans to replace the General Market with a new office block focused attention on the destruction of a part of the market which was no longer in use.  The General Market is now subject to aContinue reading “Strange days in Smithfield”

Guarding London Wall

Moor House acts as a gateway to London Wall.  It is a building by Foster and Partners that is best appreciated from the top of another building.  At street level it is a little overwhelming and the astonishing curved wall and roof are difficult to see properly.  It was built in anticipation of Crossrail arrivingContinue reading “Guarding London Wall”

Golden Lane waits for the builders

Here is a great view of Golden Lane Estate with the swimming pool at its centre.  Work is due to start any minute on restoration.  There is some nervousness about this.  The plans involve making some significant changes. At present it is easy to walk around the site at two levels.  The lower level spaceContinue reading “Golden Lane waits for the builders”

Room with a view

This is a view of a building not yet complete but likely to have an interesting impact on the City.  It is the new headquarters building for Rothschild’s Bank.  Designed by Rem Koolhaas, the top of the building which is a boardroom for the bank is placed on stilts above the main office block.  TheContinue reading “Room with a view”

School days at the Barbican Centre

Work on the overhaul of the Barbican Centre was completed nearly two years ago.  The changes to the building were significant – a new bridge was installed to connect Silk Street and Riverside entrances; bold graphics were used to sign each of the floors and main venues; and the pointillist walls and carpets were replacedContinue reading “School days at the Barbican Centre”

In the deep end at Golden Lane

Work is due to start tomorrow on the restoration of Golden Lane Leisure Centre.  The Centre contains the only public swimming pool in the City.  The campaign to resist its closure led to 850 responses to the consultation which convinced the Corporation (which owns it) to invest £2.6 million on the restoration.  The changes haveContinue reading “In the deep end at Golden Lane”