July 19, 2004
Grumpy Graham and lumpy Elizabeth House

No time for much today. But this rather bad tempered Guardian piece did at least tell me a name to google for, "Elizabeth House", which is to be erected just outside Waterloo Station.

Unfortunately, this is the only picture of what they have in mind that I have so far come across.

ElizabethHouse.jpg

What a shitty piece of graphics! They could do better than that, surely. Maybe they have. Can anyone supply news of a better picture of this propose edifice?

Elizabeth House is the dark sticking up thing in the middle, and I do rather agree with grumpy Graham Morrison that this particular would-be icon looks like it will be a n ugly lump, but as I always insist here, appearances could well deceive. You never really know how it will turn out. And when you consider that Elizabeth House will replace this … well, at least there's a chance that things will end up looking better. This being one of those vile lumps that dates from the days when the last thing architects gave any thought to was getting the public to like their buildings and call them icons.

Meanwhile, anything they can do to sort out the mess of trying to walk from Waterloo Station to the South Bank will be steps in the right direction. At the moment you go through the (I think) vile Shell Building, past the vile sculpture in the middle of it, across an aerial walkway, which now, since they took the next bit of it down, just stops in mid air and you have to climb down off it.

As for Morrison's piece, which is an excerpt from a speech he gave to a bunch of other architects, frankly, it reads to me like one mediocre architect who is jealous of the architects who are better at making a splash than he is, and seeking support from a bunch of other mediocre architects. But that's just an impression. Anyone who knows more about this man, and knows that this impression of mine is wrong is welcome to correct it.

Posted by Brian Micklethwait at 09:44 PM
Category: Architecture