Going south from Clapham Junction station today to Redhill, staff at Clapham said it would be quicker to go via East Croydon station.
It would appear that Network Rail is creating another of their excellent pedestrian overbridges.
I should hope they’re working on a standard system, that can be used on the many stations, that need better access.
In some ways it could have been surrounded by a much worse collection of buildings. Although nothing of the quality of One New Change seems to have been built near to the Tower to blend the ancient and modern.
At least it’s impossible to see the Tower of London and the Tower Hotel at the same time.
Watching the bridge go up and down, I realised what a classic of monstrous architecture, the Tower Hotel opposite where I stood, is!
I suspect that if anybody applied for planning permission today, they’d be sent back to their drawing board with several fleas in their ears, to think again. Wikipedia sums up the hotel like this.
The Tower Hotel, part of the Guoman collection, is situated on the north bank of the River Thames, on the east side of Tower Bridge, in London. It is built in a modern style considered unattractive by many, indeed it was voted the second ugliest building in London in a 2006 BBC poll. However, it is reputed to offer occupants excellent views from its rooms.
As you see, they do give the rooms credit. But I am very much reminded of Guy de Maupassant’s thoughts on the Eiffel Tower.
I think I went inside once to meet someone with C and our view afterwards was it is the sort of hotel, where you took somebody else’s husband or wife to impress them. I think one of her clients had done that, as I haven’t and I don’t think she ever did!
I have been impressed by One New Change by St.Paul’s in London.
Today, as I needed to eat on the way back from Burnley, I visited Trinity Leeds, which is a shopping centre close to Leeds station to have a late lunch in Carluccio’s.
Although, Trinity Leeds is four times as big as One New Change, it has a similar upmarket feel. When you stand both of them alongside such centres as Meadowhall, Lakeside and quite a few others, there is no comparison, although they are smaller.
They have both been developed by the same company; Land Securities. it would seem that some of the features and tenants have been chosen to improves the shopping experience. Both centres have an extensive selection of restaurants and have been designed to blend in, rather than dominate their neighbours. Leeds has even got an Art House cinema from Everyman Cinemas. Usually shopping centres, just have a multiplex showing exclusively Transatlantic trash.
From my point of view, the centre is ideally placed, as it puts a second Carluccio’s close to my preferred interchange station in the North of England; Leeds. I won’t use Leeds every time there is not a direct service from London, but for Burnley, Blackburn and possibly a few others, it is the best route, especially if I can get lunch.
Today at Leeds I got a close look at the similar bridge over the tracks at Leeds station.
It is not so impressive as the bridge at Reading, but it is a few years older and probably built to a tighter budget. I think we’ll be seeing a lot more stations being built or rebuilt on similar lines.
Leeds shows one of the advantages of this design, in that on the bridge at the station, is a large coffee outlet, an information kiosk and plenty of seating. This seems to put them all where they are needed on the walking route for passengers changing trains. As the sides of the bridge are to a certain extent closed in with glass, it is much better place to wait for your train, than on the draughty platforms below.
If there is a problem, it is that there is possibly not enough escalators, although each platform does have a lift.
This story on the BBC’s web site, looks like a severe problem that is going to happen in the Gulf States.
It would appear no-one has died in these high-rise fires, but it strikes me after reading the article, that regulations and building materials aren’t what we would expect in Europe or North America.
A few years ago, I went to Dubai and the number of residential towers going up was amazing. But how many of them are fire traps?
We’ve had the some problems with tower blocks in this country, like the fire at Lakanal House in 2009, but hopefully we’ve not sed too much dangerous cladding. The only tower block, I’ve lived in was Cromwell Tower in the Barbican, which was built in concrete to a very high standard in the 1960s. You felt very safe in that building.
Typing “Barbican Fire” into Google, just gives you this relevant link and that’s about an event, where the City of London Fire Brigade and showing children how to be aware of fire.
My only quesion, is do fire brigades do enough of that sort of thing.
I’ve never been to the base of the Gherkin or 30, St. Mary Axe to name it correctly, until today.
A lot of the buildings between the Gherkin and Liverpool Street station have now been removed and the views of the building are a lot better, as some of the pictures show. Note the reflection of the Gherkin in the windows of TK-Maxx.
It is in my view one of the world’s most iconic sports stadia.
It is place full of tragedy and happiness.
I remember watching on television as the massacre at the Olympic village unfolded. Thankfully, no Olympics has seen anything like it since.
But there is a lesser tragedy entwined in the site and that is of one of Britain’s greatest ever athletes Lillian Board, who died in Munich of cancer, a couple of years before the 1972 Olympic Games. One of the paths on the site has been given her name. She was truly a multi-talented person, who represented her country at all distances up to a mile, and surely, she must be one of few people, who’ve received their MBE from the Queen, in a coat they’ve designed and made themselves.
Then there is the sadness and triumph in the medal tables on the honours board. Look at those of the women athletes and there is an awful lot of DDR and USSR. How many were clean?
But tucked in at the bottom is Mary Peters, who produced the performance of her life to win gold in the pentathlon. Of all the sporting events I’ve seen, both live and on television, her performance in Munich is in the top ten.
The title of this post is borrowed from an old copy of the Meccano Magazine.
But they do exist in Vienna and even have their own Metro station called Gasometer.
They are really one of the best examples of converting a redundant structure into something useful. There’s more about them here.
The last time I saw these structures, was when C and I came to a christening in Vienna. We wondered what the virtually derelict brick structures were as we took the train to the airport.
In Vienna if there is one place I had to see, it is Spittelau.
You walk out of the station of the same name and it’s there, only a kilometre or so from the centre of Vienna.
When you first see it, you think it is some weird work of art or even a chemical plant designed by a benign Devil.
It’s actually a waste incineration plant, which provides district heating and to be fair it’s more beautiful than SELCHP.
The world needs a lot more Spittelaus. As they often do, the Japanese are copying the ideas in Osaka.
It is a superb example that shows the close relationship between art, engineering and architecture.
Can you imagine the fuss, if they decided to build a plant like this at say Silvertown in East London? On the other hand, the plant shows that refuse incinerators can be good neighbours.
Every large city should have it’s Spittelau!