Photoblog: King’s Cross, the other side

29 April 2010

Last weekend I visited some of the King’s Cross Reveal Festival. I didn’t have many chances to take photos but I thought I should blog some of my photos: the other side of King’s Cross.

Camley Street Natural Park is one of the most unusual and unexpected finds in London. A miniature wildlife oasis in the heart of one of London’s largest regeneration projects – an area historically associated with deprivation and prostitution that it now London’s gateway to Europe. The famous King’s Cross gasholders – a landmark in their own right with a history and a future – remain a part of the area’s landscape. And London’s famous Brunswick Centre

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Recovering Doric

19 May 2009

Living fairly close to Euston station, and having known it for the last few decades as my gateway to London from my home in the midlands, it’s history fascinates me. The unlovely functionalist 1960s station is practical and large, it serves its function well, but it’s not got the romance, history or stories of other London stations. The Times art columnist said

“It gives the impression of having been scribbled on the back of a soiled paper bag by a thuggish android with a grudge against humanity and a vampiric loathing of sunlight. And the fact that it replaced a much-loved old station, wiping out the Classical portico of the Euston Arch, only compounds its offensiveness.”

Which is why I was fascinated to read that the Doric arch, or what remains of it (or most of it that didn’t end up forming a rockery in the back garden of the guy that demolished it), is being recovered from it’s subsequent resting place, thanks to the London Olympics.

Developing Prescott Lock to enable construction materials to be transported to and from the Olympic site in a more sustainable way than dirty road lorries has meant that the remains of the arch, which since 1962 have been basically blocking a hole in the tidal riverbed, are finally being recovered. More on the story here, here and here.

Although I am a town planner, I don’t have a strong conservationist streak. But the story of Euston, and the threatened near-by St Pancras, make you realise what a sense of pride and sense of place architectural history can give you. After one of the most shocking pieces of architectural vandalism it’s now hoped that the arch can be reconstructed, not in it’s original place (somewhere near Platform 8, apparently) but perhaps in the redevelopment of Euston station (possibly looking like the image below), or elsewhere. Even if you cannot stop progress, meeting the needs of future generations, and the ability to integrate architectural history into developing places, is an important challenge we need to grasp.


London Snow Blog: My Snowday in Pictures

2 February 2009

Well, I say snow day – I actually went to work. So did the people at the Guardian (apparently) who have brought us SNOW BLOG LIVE (really) all day long… including useful advice, such as how to walk in snow (like a penguin in case you wondered)

Here’s my day in photos, more here:

Camden Town, morning, 2nd Feb

Millbank, Pimlico and Westminster in the distance

Green Park

Camden and St Pancras, afternoon


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