Oxford

It was a perfect day to walk round Oxford.   The colleges were closed.   The streets were empty.   We walked down Brasenose Lane, past the walled gardens of Exeter.   The sun was shining on the Radcliffe Camera and the west wall of the Codrington, with Hawksmoor’s gothic towers for All Souls beyond:-

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Cranbrook Estate

Just north of the Roman Road is a modernist estate with characteristic patterned façades, punctuated by green blocks, and with buildings originally designed on a figure-of-eight street.   It turns out that it is a late work by Berthold Lubetkin, working in partnership with Francis Skinner and Douglas Bailey, both of whom had also worked for Tecton.   Commissioned by the borough of Bethnal Green in 1955 after Lubetkin had retreated to a farm in Gloucestershire, compulsory purchase took place in 1957 and the first blocks opened in 1963:

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The Pagoda in Victoria Park

The pagoda in Victoria Park was originally designed for a Chinese exhibition in Hyde Park in 1842, was moved to the newly laid out Victoria Park in 1847, had a bridge designed for it by James Pennethorne, decayed in the war, was demolished in the 1950s, and only recreated recently in the renovations funded by the HLF:-

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The Olympic Park

As it was so wonderfully sunny, we thought we would explore the Olympic Park:  a mistake;  too much clutter and not enough park.

However, Anish Kapoor’s Arcelor tower looks better close-up, like an escaped triffid:

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Mile End Park

Mile End Park was beautifully frosty this morning with Canary Wharf as always shimmering in the distance, Piers Gough’s yellow bridge gleaming, and the canal boats lined up by the towpath.

This is the Yellow Bridge:-

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This is the view of Canary Wharf:-

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Barbican

In honour of Otto’s recently published text on the history of the Barbican, we went to see the exhibition of architectural photography and the accompanying small display about Chamberlin, Powell and Bon.   Coming out of the exhibition, the architecture of the Barbican looked straight out of one of the displays:-

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