The New City

10, Fenchurch Avenue is in the heart of the New City, the legacy of Ken Livingstone releasing controls on the skyline, an odd progenitor of Manhattan-by-the-Thames. It’s not without its excitements, making the Lloyd’s Building look old fashioned and relatively tame by the high octane and futuristic standards of the current wave of rocketing skyscrapers:-

Let alone Leadenhall Market:-


10, Fenchurch Avenue

As it was such a beautiful afternoon, we thought we would go and see Eric Parry’s new building at 10, Fenchurch Avenue, a big office development, with an amazing, huge public deck at the top – the Garden at 120, which has been landscaped by Latz and partner and provides extraordinary views of the city and beyond.

It’s an odd conception: a relatively conventional formal office development with a lightweight, multicolored, asymmetrical top.

Here it is popping out:-

More comprehensible structurally from the other side:-

The entrance is space age corporate. You come out in a forest of new towers:-

The views are impressive (it’s hard to take pictures without the reflections):-


Bethnal Green Mission Church

I spotted that the Architecture Foundation was organising a tour of the Bethnal Green Mission Church, a new building nearly opposite the Bethnal Green Museum. It was being led by its architects – Richard Gatti (ex-Denton Corker Marshall), Tom Routh and Stefanie Rhodes.

The church was originally established in the 1860s by Annie Macpherson, a friend of Dr. Barnardo, to provide ‘a home of industry’ and a respite from the appalling conditions of the match-box making industry.

In 1952, a new church was opened, combined with a vicarage and medical practice:-

By 2012, this needed to be replaced:-

Gatti Routh Rhodes were employed to do a feasibility study and then design a new church as a joint venture with a property developer who was a member of the congregation.

They based their ideas on a study of the two churches in Fournier Street: Christ Church, full of the pomp and circumstance of the Anglican church establishment, and the Huguenot church at the other end of the street, which was integrated with the street fa├žade – a community resource as much as a place of worship.

So, the church itself is reticent – a large room in the centre of the building. The building is concrete and brick (raking monk bond) – like the church reticent:-

It fits well at the top end of Paradise Gardens:-

Best of all is THE BEEHIVE COFFEE AND INDUSTRY on the corner of Cambridge Heath Road:-

And the view of the Bethnal Green Museum from upstairs:-


Conservation Philosophy (2)

I have been asked to post a picture of our house as it used to be, which I am pleased to do as a way of preserving the grubby postcard which used to sit over our stove and so is covered with the grease of ages. Our house is on the left. Its top floor was apparently blown off in the second world war. The man sitting on the left hand shop front and made out of bits of exhaust pipe advertised the fact that there was an exhaust pipe garage at the back of our house. You drove through the middle:-

The picture was taken by our former next door neighbours in May 1998. It’s their scooters parked outside.


Edward Thomas Stevens

There was a fine photograph of Edward Thomas Stevens in the Salisbury Museum. He is described as ‘the first Honorary Curator of the Salisbury and South Wiltshire Museum and Blackmore Museum’:-

This pricked my interest, even more so when in the next room, I saw a picture of William Blackmore, Stevens’s brother-in-law, who was the founder of the Blackmore Museum:-

Blackmore was a solicitor, whose family were drapers in Salisbury. He moved to Liverpool and then London, where he made a fortune through land speculation and providing venture capital in the United States. In 1863, he visited the States and became fascinated by the ‘Red Man’, buying an extensive collection of Native American archaeological remains for which he constructed his own museum in St. Ann Street, and commissioning photographers to document Native Americans:-

It was closed in 1929 and the collections distributed between the Smithsonian, Birmingham and the British Museum.


Salisbury Cathedral (2)

Inside, I was pleased to be allowed to take photographs:-

There is a fine tomb to Lord Wyndham by Michael Rysbrack:-

A monument to Edward Wyndham Tennant, known as Bim, killed in the battle of the Somme, done by Allan Wyon:-

The Morning Chapel has what was the original screen until it was moved in 1789. It has the remains of colouring on the carvings:-

And the alabaster tomb of Edward Seymour, Earl of Hertford, is spectacular, done apparently by William Wright in 1675. Was it done in a deliberately archaic style, more than fifty years after his death ?


Salisbury Cathedral (1)

The Cathedral looks, if anything, better on a misty February day, seen first from across the Close:-

Then, a misty presence across fields:-

I tried to work out the statuary of the west front, which of it is fourteenth century and which of it Victorian. I assume these two are Victorian – definitely the second (by James Redfern):-

SS Cosmas and Damian are also Victorian:-

I guess the gargoyles are medieval:-

I paid my respects to my parents’ grave:-

And then went through to the cloister:-