Just a week before English Heritage, RIBA and the Twentieth Century Society publish a new book by Elain Harwood on the architects of Golden Lane Estate, the scaffolding has been removed from the leisure centre at the heart of the estate. With another three months to go before the restoration is complete, the work to date has removed the frosted glass windows and clumsy flood lighting to create a clean, elegant facade. This is a great time to look at it. Chamberlin, Powell and Bon – Elain Harwood
Tag: swimming pool
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 space between the sports hall and the swimming pool is due to be blocked in with a dance studio. The roof will also have photovoltaic panels and all of the windows will be replaced with double glazed versions. It should be good but will the windows look right or will they be out of character? Will the dance studio destroy the lightness and fluidity of the current arrangement? Will the panels on the roof look ungainly and inappropriate and will they generate enough electricity to make their installation worth while. The problem with much-loved places is that they lead to conservatism from those who want to preserve a quality which it is feared will be lost with the improvements. Has the Festival Hall been ruined by its new stage and the removal of the acoustic canopy? Is the Barbican worse off because of its orange paint work. Golden Lane Leisure Centre will be a test case for matching elegant restoration with the joy of moving through water. (Picture: Tim Crocker).