Blog / Blog tagged with 'Architecture'

Local Olympics

Thursday, August 9th, 2012

I just couldn’t resist making an Olympic themed post.  I am lucky enough to have a view of the stadium from my living room window, from which we were treated to a fabulous firework display on opening ceremony night, and this week I went along to see the Mens 3m Springboard Diving semi-final in the Aquatic centre designed by Zaha Hadid.  The atmosphere was great, huge roars from the crowd for GB diver Chris Mears, but what I really want to talk about is the venue.

Much has been written already about the design effort for London 2012, and my personal opinion is that it has been a mixed bag.  I’m still not a fan of the logo although it has become less offensive with familiarity, the posters I thought were really weak, the colouring inside the venues however looks great really fresh and clean and I love Stella McCartney’s outfits for team GB. But what really annoys me is that the various design elements just don’t feel like they belong, there is a lack of overriding theme.

But without a doubt my favourite piece of design is the Aquatic Centre.  It is a crying shame about the temporary wings for the extra Olympic spectators but I accept it is practical and at a time of recession I am very pleased to see the government making frugal decisions. The curves of the building both outside and inside are beautiful and the finish on the building is elegant.  My biggest surprise on entering the building was the interior, the sweeping curves around the pool and the sculptural diving platforms cast out of concrete are stunning.  Below is a little snap I took on the day but I recommend checking out the images of the building including how it will look once the temporary seating blocks are removed over on Zaha Hadid’s website.

3m Springboard diving at the 2012 Olympics



Sunday, November 1st, 2009

During my recent holiday to India I was fortunate enough to be able to go to Chandigarh.  India’s first planned city, built to be the new capital of the Haryana and Punjab regions, although actually being apart of neither, when India gained it’s independence and was separated from Pakistan.

As the city would be planned rather than developed organically over centuries Jawaharlal Nehru India’s first prime minister saw that there was an opportunity to create something special and recruited the Swiss architect Le Corbusier to design a city that would be a symbol of hope and modern India.

The result is a place unlike anywhere else I have visited in India, the streets are wide and tree lined, traffic well organised and obeying the rules of the road, large parks and green spaces flow through the city allowing it to breathe and the grid system layout with numbering of each sector allows for easy navigation.  Key building are designed by Le Corbusier himself and have a wonderful sculptural yet functional form, this style however is not confined to a few key buildings an continues throughout the city.  The strong angular concrete buildings create an interesting contrast to the lush greenery that surrounds them.

For more photos see my flickr set.