I’ve always been interested in the fabric of the city. I remember years ago in Manchester, a couple of decades before I started studying Architecture I had one of those rare moments of clarity. The sustained liquid lunch probably helped. I was wandering down a quaint back street in the city centre when I came by some raw block work where every where else was Victorian brick. The front entrance to the offending property was a typical well appointed mid 19th century block. I marched in and confronted the receptionist who’s expression grew increasing concerned as I launched into a condemnation of their wanton disregard of conservation laws and that as an officer of the esteemed society for the conservation of city architecture I had the authority to demand them to rebuild their ground floor elevation out back with immediate effect. She called the manager. He started asking awkward questions and my eloquence and clarity began to falter until I said abruptly that I would return with a warrant, swivelled around and hastily left.

After actually studying Architecture and growing up a bit and not drinking so much (at lunch time) I am not so easily at the mercy of my outrage. In this blog I will be pointing out, sketching, commenting and sharing in a mainly calm bloggy type way. I may go off piste now and again and plummet the precipitous slopes of creative writing. After all I’ve got to do something with that MA.

First tiny offering is a little eulogy to the Barbican. Or is it an elegy to public buildings doomed by our desire for unrelenting commerce? We will never build anything as magnificent as this again (oh that outrage hasn’t totally disappeared).


From where have you come, mighty brushed rods and troughs of Gods, a reawakened dream of man unbent by selfish need? These upturned arches that slight civilisations past, this brute majesty, familiar yet unimagined, does not compete but sits in its complex wealth of form unchallenged by the lesser city outside its walls: the modest church in white hewn stone silently praying and the tall glass and tin clad blocks that would bow if they had a soul.

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