Tuesday, 18 September 2007

Architectural Adventures Chapter 2 - Open House Weekend

Sometimes London weather really comes into its own in September and last weekend was no exception. As part of London Open House Weekend, Miles had planned himself a comprehensive tour of art deco buildings (this is his third year of deco OHWs - we've decided that next year may be time to look at other things!) and I tagged along for a few of the highlights.

On Saturday we visited the Unilever building at Blackfriars - with its amazing deco facade we'd both wanted to have a look inside for a while but it only finished a massive redevelopment earlier this year. The exterior looks fantastic but the inside was a real shock - they've gutted the building and fitted a completely souless glass atrium-type interior. But to try and accentuate the positive I include here some pictures of the carefully restored handsome exterior.
The angles of this light are wonderful.
These little birds are a great detail - I'd have missed them if Miles hadn't pointed them out. Each pair makes the apex of the zig zags on the gates.
On Sunday we made it all the way down to Tooting for 10am(!). While waiting I noticed the library and wonderful old advert on the building across the street.
We actually went to see what was the Granada cinema. Now a bingo hall (the saviour of so many cinemas) the facade is relatively demure...
...but it conceals a fabulously over the top 'Shakespearean Medieval' interior.
We then progressed to the Park Lane Hotel. The bit we'd really wanted to see was the ballroom but there was a wedding going on (imagine how much that must cost!). We got to see the ballroom lobby though, which was incredible - a sea of silver leaf and mirrors. Here you can see Miles in action too.
The metal work shapes in the light fitting were echoed in the banisters too.
We were also taken to see one of their suites (the rack rate is over £2000 a night!). It was the favourite of Marlene Dietrich, apparently, and she was known to entertain guests from the bathtub!
And to finish, one more pretty picture: these lillies were from some dinner guests last week and I think they match our fireplace beautifully.

1 comment:

Arianne said...

I love the photos! And your fireplace.

We live in a rented flat and the owners of the house took out the fireplace. It would hav been very similar to yours. I can't believe they did it!