Ruth Slavid talks architecture

Decoration or desecration?

Posted in streets by ruthslavid on March 28, 2012

This building in King’s Cross wasn’t anything special, just an anonymous part of the streetscape.
But, according to the Kings Cross Environment newsletter, that wasn’t good enough for its owner Tony Megaro. He wanted a bit of a wow factor for visitors coming out of St Pancras – and he has certainly provided that.
He said, ‘When you go to Barcelona you see all the coloured tiles and things like that. I think in this country we tend to be a bit conservative…it’s an impressive building, not an ugly building that we want to camouflage.’ But Barcelona’s tiles work with the building not against it. Imagine this as a light show – it would be great. But do we want it forever? I think not. Seems we are stuck with it though.

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Railway of blood

Posted in education, streets by ruthslavid on July 16, 2010

I love the idea of the Blood Railway by Aimee O’Carroll, a student at the AA, which has just won the new award from Foster and Partners for sustainability and infrastructure.The idea is to link the London hospitals by infrastructure including the old railway that was used to transport the post, and transfer medical supplies, including blood, in that way.

O’Carroll doesn’t shy away from the obvious puns, such as ‘Whitechapel’s urban artery’ and there are obviously parallels between the circulation of the blood and the transport links in a city – London seems on the edge of a massive cardiac infarction most days. She’d have to sort out issues such as refrigeration, but it is a massively appealing conceit.

Saving houses

Posted in heritage, housing, streets by ruthslavid on June 7, 2010

Coming out shortly is Mark Hines’ report for SAVE on ‘Life after Pathfinder’, a really imaginative approach to how to save back to back houses by adding additional, prefabricated elements.

Certainly a much greener solution than demolition. From the perspective of the overcrowded south in particular, it seems mad that any property is surplus to requirements. But I was in Birmingham last week, where Digbeth has an immense amount of unwanted industrial property – ready to become ‘free schools’ perhaps?

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Graffiti in Avignon

Posted in streets by ruthslavid on June 3, 2010

Just back from a great few days in Avignon, where they seem to have their own answer to Banksy.

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