Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Battersea's Magic Kingdom


After yesterday's look around Battersea, I thought I'd once again check the plans for the area. There seem to be several names for the wider area now, including Nine Elms (that's really the area further east with the new US embassy). The Battersea area has been sub-divided with names like Circus West and Cringle Dock, as well as Electric Boulevard and Malaysia Place.

Some of the planned buildings have Norman Foster's London go-to modernity. Foster designed structures like the Gherkin, City Hall, The Millennium Bridge. Interesting buildings that both turn up on tea towels and keep London cool. If I found an updated Dan Dare comic, I expect it would aspire to Norman Foster building designs.

But surely a missing component in the real designs is a monorail? Or at least one of those Epcot style mass transit systems.

Across the way from Foster's designs are Frank Gehry's. Literally the other side of the street. And that single chimney view is no co-incidence. There's several pictures of Gehry explaining it.

Gehry designs buildings that look as if they have melted in the sun. His 'Centre for Brain Health' springs to mind. A variation I think he could have explored for London would have featured rain. Maybe some drips as well as the melting? What we actually get will be a kind of Hanging Gardens of Babylon theme.

Of course, between the architectural concept models and construction there will no doubt be some changes.

Perhaps they will leave enough room for my suggested monorail, although it is probably too late to ask for it to run right through one of the buildings? It's great to see bicycle routes shown, but perhaps they have missed a trick. I suppose it will depend whether the finished buildings represent money at rest or are actually used for housing.

As they say at the Contemporary : If you’re standing, please hold on to the handrails and stay clear of the doors. The monorail will depart momentarily for the Magic Kingdom. Thank you.

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