Tag Archives: buildings of london

An Open House

85 Swains Lane 220px-St_Pancras_Old_Church_2005

[A]rt can be expressed in many ways; painting, drawing, sculpture, but none have the visual impact more than architecture. Done badly it can blight people’s lives and ruin neighbourhoods. One only has to look at some of the housing estates designed in the 60’s by trail brazing architects to see its impact. Conversely good architecture can capture our imagination, change the way we relate to our community, create employment, revitalise a neglected part of London and improve our physical and mental health.

Good design will produce a more attractive environment, stronger communities with a sense of ownership and pride in their local area. Well designed buildings and public spaces are therefore vital in creating and sustaining a vibrant London.

The obsession to design glass boxes has rightly been criticised by Prince Charles, who it seems has continued his one man crusade against these hideous un-English buildings being forced upon us. Hardly a week goes by without one architect or another attacking him for his interventions against this ugliness.

Well, as an antidote to all that is ugly, this weekend sees the annual Open House event where a range of buildings open their doors for free public viewing. From the newly constructed Royal Institute of British Architects 2009 Award Winner; 85 Swains Lane to St. Pancreas Old Church believed to be one of the oldest sites of Christian worship in England. The owners of these properties are proud to show the contribution they play in the shaping of this great City.

CabbieBlog derives some satisfaction reading this year’s programme to find that many of the buildings criticised previously on CabbieBlog have not had the courage to open their doors to the public.