Where are the Centre Point fountains?

There cannot be many post-war buildings which have stoked up as much controversy as Centre Point.

Designed by Richard Seifert this brutalist building was completed in 1966 and at 398ft was the second highest in London.

Controversy did not stop at its uncompromising design as the building remained empty long after its completion.

[C]entre Point’s developer, Harry Hyams, sat on a rising asset as its capital appreciation far outweighed the rental income with the added bonus that the un-let office block did not attract rates.

Nestled at the windy base of this building, caused by the downdraft as the wind hits its upper floors, once stood a blue mosaic lined pool with five triple-tined-Y-shaped fountains.

Operators of these fountains had an idiosyncratic approach to when they should be turned on. On hot summer evenings girls waiting for the Astoria to open would sit on the fountain’s parameter wall staring at an empty pool safe in the knowledge they would remain dry. On windy winter nights, aided by the downdraft from 35 storeys above them, hapless pedestrians walking past would get soaked.

Now where these iconic Grade II listed fountains once stood there is what must be the largest hole in Europe with Centre Point teetering on the precipice as engineers construct a new station for CrossRail. When finished in their place will sit two wonky glass pyramids which the designers describe as crystal sculptural forms.

The Centre Point fountains were the work of German artist Jupp Dermbach-Mayen who built the fountains at his Swiss Cottage studio in 1963. The Twentieth Century Society claim the planned removal of them was symptomatic of a wider problem of post-war art being separated from its architectural context.

Those infamously-sporadic concrete flower fountains will be missed, though . . .

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