How London Design Goes Wrong
Why is it that good design ideas in London so often get screwed up? I think of the astoundingly ugly Orbit Tower in the Olympic Park, which they’re now thinking of sticking a slide inside to encourage someone to like it, or the grotesquely disproportionate, naff statue of the kissing couple in St Pancras Station, and can’t imagine who looked at them and thought they were a good idea. But perhaps they were better on the drawing board.
Here’s a good example of the problem at work. This is the model for the city’s first natural swimming pool, cleaned and oxygenated by reeds (there’s a wonderful example of this kind of pool at work at the Scarlet Hotel in Cornwall), and here’s what we’ve ended up with. Nothing else in the city has red and white concrete blocks stuck around it – is it something to do with Health & Safety? Could the council behind it be the same people responsible for putting ugly steel railings around the graceful new fountains in Russell Square?
Why can’t we trust people to not slip up, and fall into things? If you go to the top of the aquaduct in Avignon, France, you can walk across it without handrails – the narrow sky-high path is filled with toddlers and old ladies with dogs, and they manage to avoid plummeting to their deaths. Londoners, however, need to be treated as if they are invalids without brains.