Wednesday, 16 May 2012
Pop up stairs at the South Bank
Sadly, there is a history of rather unsatisfactory temporary solutions lasting several decades at the boondoggle that is the SBC's estate - this one is far superior to many of the the various lash-ups that have come and gone, often outstaying their welcome, over the years.
A previous post discussed the variable quality standards applied when structures are envisaged as temporary - and we can expect plenty of that this summer, with Trafalgar Square already filling up with unsightly tat, and a giant upside-down purple plastic cow occupying the car park on the other side of the rail tracks from the Hayward (which may cause some puzzlement to visitors when the lavish new Jubilee Gardens open shortly).
What the SBC stair suggests, as have some other recent pop up projects, is that a willingness to treat a modest intervention as a proper commission, and the application of a lively design intelligence, can enhance the city and lift the spirits without the need for big budgets, or the intention to build for posterity - and that there's no need for the ephemeral to be tatty and thoughtless.