Okay, the title is slightly ironic. While walking the streets of London (or driving in buses) last week, I couldn’t help wondering just how many … how to put this in a gentle way … less than successful buildings one could find there. Sure, the Germans mush bear some of the blame but the Brits in particular seemed to have a rather unique way of making concrete very … concretey. I lived in a hotel next to Centre Point, which is the building pictured above, and kept wondering just what it reminded me of. It finally dawned upon me that it was somehow a cousin to the old Interhotel at Alexanderplatz in Eastern Berlin.
The hotel I stayed at (not pictured) was basic but okay (and it had a location to kill for) but I always had the feeling that it had been designed by Orcs, or alternatively the firm Orwell, Kafka and Partners. British brutalism is very brutalist indeed.
Add the ubiquitous CCTV cameras and Orwell’s ghost was always close.
Now, this may make you think that I hated every minute of my stay in London. I very definitively did not, but in some ways the city is a curious place.