Thursday, 28 February 2013

At the Crystal

Wilkinson Eyre's Crystal sustainability centre in the Royal Docks is worth a visit (or actually I would say ** vaut le détour rather than *** vaut le voyage) - especially while you can still get there by the Emirates Air Line cable car over the Thames, also well worth doing in its own right, and worth doing soon before they take it down and relocate it to an Alp - since user numbers are plummeting, and it seems to be used only by tourists.

This example of the Architecture of Funny Shapes does however share a difficulty that occurs in many more straight-down-the-line modernist projects - that of making it clear where the front door is.  The newsagent-style sandwich board seen in the photo above, not I think designed by Wilkinson Eyre or included in the original specifications, reads 'Welcome' - a polite way of saying 'Entrance this way'.

You don't have this kind of difficulty spotting the front door at the National Gallery.  On the other hand, if you're pushing a baby buggy, you can't get to the front door of the National Gallery (yes I know there are other ways in, but I like the one in the middle) - whereas at the Crystal there is no problem once you have found it.

So maybe not everything is going to the dogs.

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