More from Alexander Davidson
Winterton House and Plastic Cladding
The viewpoint deals with four Greater London Council housing blocks – two in Tower Hamlets and a second pair in Westminster, where the architects employed an experimental plastics building system in their design and construction. More latterly, the buildings were involved in the “Homes for Votes” scandal in the 1980s, which has received renewed attention in the light of the Grenfell Tower disaster.
The House of the Future at Olympia London
This viewpoint focusses on a futuristic vision for plastics in architecture and interior design: Alison and Peter Smithson‘s House of the Future, which was shown at the Daily Mail Ideal Home Show at the London Olympia Exhibition Centre in 1956. The exhibition structure, containing everything from chairs made of fibreglass to bedding fashioned out of Nylon, popularised an aesthetic for the materials’ use in architectural and visual design which has lasted until the present day.
The Toilet Tower on Conduit Mews
This viewpoint focusses on a toilet tower (a series of bathrooms stacked in the shape of a helix), built as part of scheme to transform four Victorian terraced houses into student housing in Paddington, London, in the late-1960s. More specifically, how architects Nicholas Grimshaw and Terry Farrell promoted plastics in architecture on aesthetic grounds in a way which has ultimately proved to be unsustainable.
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Graffiti Art on Camden Lock Railway Bridge, created by Street Artist by John Bulley
The graffiti piece on Camden Lock Railway Bridge is considered to be the oldest surviving pieces of street art in Camden, having been created by John Bulley in 1989. Whilst working on a number of new shop signs in the area, Bulley was asked if he could come up with an idea for the Camden Lock Railway Bridge as it was about to be refurbished and repainted by British Rail. Knowing that he wanted the design to be visible from a distance and have some humour in it, Bulley used a bold typeface and photographed two men he was working with to include in his design. The resulting work features the two men who appear to be constantly painting the bridge. The work has been repainted in recent years to freshen up the paint but using the same iconic design. Having lasted for over thirty years, the piece is considered an icon of London’s oldest pieces of street art.