Saturday, January 07, 2006

Speaking Of Ugly British Architecture

This news channel in Britain just ran a poll for "worst buildings" in Britain, in an attempt to get the winner demolished on a special show. It's a great list of enthusiastic follies, and it also explained to me the mystery of 1 Westminster Bridge, a building that utterly perplexed me when I first saw it. It sits right at the far end of the Westminster Bridge in South London, across the river from Parliament, and it is literally in the middle of a traffic roundabout, cars and buses barreling by at forty mph.

What I couldn't understand, beyond the question of why build a glass building in the middle of a busy intersection, was how did anyone get to it?

It turns out that the building used to have a bridge connecting it to the nearby London City Hall. When the old London government, the Greater London Council, was dissolved by Thatcher in 1987, the building fell into disuse.

The surprise entry onto the hated list? The brand new Scottish Parliament Building, an $800 million structure that was this year's winner of the prestigious Stirling Prize awarded by the Royal Institute of British Architects.

Sometimes we think we're so clever!


Post a Comment

<< Home