By Kenneth Allinson and Victoria Thornton (Auth.)
This guidebook covers the superior and finest structures accomplished in London through the interval 1984-1992. It covers a few a hundred constructions and is supported via images, line diagrams and maps. The constructions are prepared in geographical series
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Extra resources for Guide to London's Contemporary Architecture
The electronics are evidenced by blank cladding and a large green steel superstructure on the roof which accommodates the air conditioning plant. The security consciousness is evident in an acutely medieval, defensive quality reinforced by the security fence; the lack of a front door (just a security hut and a massive cantilevered gate which silently glides shut); and the strategic riverside position straddling a former dock entrance. It is rumoured that the building has multiple electrical back-up systems in the form of duplicate generators and links to the distribution grids on both sides of the river.
These three units are arranged in a C plan around a courtyard, with the brick-faced rotunda of the council chamber acting as landmark on the corner of the site. Unfortunately, this landscaped court has been closed off by a council fearful of its vandalising constituents. But the ground floor of the rotunda is a public exhibition space and most of the ground floor of the oblong block is freely accessible to the public. The latter has a 'circulation hall' shaped by a long curving, blue wall which faces onto the court through a glazed wall.
Such a complex cannot organically change and adapt; being dedicated to restricted purposes and functions, it is always in danger of becoming a dinosaur. Socially, difference is precluded by managerial policy and control, squeezed out, and relegated beyond the Canary boundaries. Don't attempt to misbehave. Nevertheless, it is remarkable - go there. But you'll be forgiven for a sigh of relief on return to the comparatively humane realities of central London. The architects for the buildings are as follows: A.