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Archive for March, 2015

Secret 7″. Still not good enough…

March 29, 2015 6 comments

Sadly my three submissions for this years competition have been rejected once again, which apart from being disappointing, is a bit of a shame as I’d tried to assess why last years efforts didn’t make it and do something more in keeping with those that got chosen, i.e. less photos, more colours, less realism, more graphics…

Maybe I shouldn’t feel too bad. There were over 4500 entries for the 700 sleeves available, which if you’re new to the excellent Secret 7″ project, equates to 100 separate, individual designs for each of their seven chosen songs. I also imagine that another 100 or so sleeves will be allocated to guests and invited artists submissions (which is totally fair enough btw) so the actual sleeves available for the rest of us is probably nearer 600.

Still as with last years, I really enjoyed making them, so I’ll probably give it another whirl next year… It’ll be interesting to see the exhibition at Somerset House in a couple of weeks time, see what I can learn this time around.. (which is probably that I will always be a year behind in terms of style…)

My submissions were a suitably psychedelic sleeve for Let Forever Be, by The Chemical Brothers: JA_Chemical Brothers_smlThe imprints of hammer blows for Peter Gabriel’s Sledgehammer:

JA_Peter Gabriel_smlAnd the silhouette of a greyhound for Underworld’s Born Slippy…

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The Kensington Air Terminal…

March 18, 2015 5 comments

 

My And is currently reading a Miss Marple novel, one of the last ones that Agatha Christie wrote I think. Entitled At Bertram’s Hotel, it was published in the mid 1960’s and tells the tale of the now elderly (was she ever anything else…) detective’s stay in a swish London hotel, and the usual fatalities that seem to follow the redoubtable detective like a bad smell…

wlat-k65-108-aerial-view-1965I digress. The reason for this post is that in the story, reference is made to The Kensington Air Terminal… Intrigued, And went off to the internet to investigate and sure enough such a thing actually existed, moreover, it would seem that it is now almost totally forgotten..

Situated overlooking the Cromwell Road, on the site of what has been a Sainsbury’s since the 1980’s, and almost equidistant between The Albert Hall and Earls Court, was a group of buildings that together formed a direct link between Heathrow Airport and the city.

Before the rail link was completed in 1977, getting to Heathrow could be a time consuming business by all accounts. BEA (British European Airways) hit upon the idea of creating a central hub where travelers could check in and relax before being transported along with their baggage by luxury coaches to the airport proper, making good use of the recently opened M4 motorway.

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Cut away illustration of temporary terminal from The Illustrated London News

The first temporary two storey building (above) was completed in 1957 and proved so successful that a more permanent solution was soon being planned. Designed by Burnett, Tait & Partners, this new facility included additional parking (via some impressive circular access ramps) restaurants and retail opportunities, airport style waiting areas and departure gates, along with a residential tower above. It was finally opened in the early/ mid 1960’s to great fanfare and excitement…

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Sadly due to increasing security regulations, land prices and airline takeovers, the building was only in operation for around 15 years or so before being redeveloped by Sainsbury’s.

There is very little online about this intriguing building. The excellent post at The Library Time Machine by Dave Walker is where I found all of the images and much of the info.

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How the building (now known as Point West) Looks today

How the building (now known as Point West) Looks today

 

Exhibition of Mid Century Latin America Architecture…

March 6, 2015 2 comments

Arch Daily have just informed me of an exhibition which starts at the end of March. Unfortunately for me it’s at the MOMA in New York …

Entitled Latin America in Construction: Architecture 1955-1980, it sounds like something right up my street, full of idealistic 1960’s and 70’s designs, when imagination was only limited by the ability to which it could be drawn

These two images in particular caught my attention.

The first is from 1969 and is a magnificent proposal for a hotel at Machu Picchu, Peru by Miguel Rodrigo Mazuré. Having been lucky enough to visit Machu Picchu a few years ago, I can imagine where this was probably going to be located, on the slopes above Aquas Calientes, where the buses on the switchback road slowly take you up to the citadel and a sight that I will never, ever forget

As such my heart tells me that I’m quite pleased it wasn’t built. But my head absolutely loves it.. all those cantilevers and cable cars and funicular railways and dynamic concrete planes.. ohhh, yes please…

Machu Pichu Hotel
This second image is slightly more conceptual in that it appears to have a record cutting lathe acting as a central civic hub of some form, with routes in and out being represented by oil refinery pipework.

It still looks bloody marvellous though…. I can’t find anything about this image from the exhibition blurb, but it looks a little bit like it’s sitting in the beautiful Peruvian valley of Cusco, so again, probably a good thing it never made it off the drawing board…

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So all in all, it looks like it could be a good exhibition, although unless it crosses the ocean, one I won’t get to see. I’ll have to find out if there’s a shiny and informative, fully illustrated book to accompany the exhibition (and let’s face it, there usually is..) and be satisfied with that…

My own small contribution to spreading the word of South American post war architecture was a piece I wrote a couple of years ago for the Modernist Magazine, about the Argentinian Brutalist architect Clorinda Testa, whose work in Buenos Aires, I found particularity memorable and deserving of far greater recognition worldwide…

It’s the wrong sculpture and it’s gone wrong: The Fourth Plinth

March 6, 2015 2 comments

Shrigley435_0The public is always right.. except of course, when it’s wrong.

David Shrigley’s proposal for the Fourth Plinth was far superior in every way to the overly literal horse skeleton with its barely visible ticker tape nonsense unveiled by the Clown Prince himself yesterday.

Like the excellent big blue cock, Shrigley’s giant thumb had humour, panache and style, things that the city can never get enough of..

Hey ho, roll on next years competition…

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