Grand Designs is back hurrah! If I could live my life again I’d try and become an architect. Unfortunately that’s not an option so I console myself by watching TV programmes about house building/restoration. I’m very much a fan of Kevin McCloud; he brings a designer’s perspective to every project and his opinions and insight bring a rare bonus to the programme. He is an intelligent and likeable presenter and his gentle chiding made this week’s opening programme in the series about the transformation of a derelict cinema, very watchable. Even if it did involve Yerkshire folk. Top marks Kevin.
Now regular readers will be aware of my interest in architecture and a passion I have for great buildings. I’m particularly fond of skyscrapers and bridges, especially ones built in the last century. One of my greatest joys is visiting one from my ‘must see’ list for the first time. The day C and I cycled (yes it’s true) up to the Golden Gate bridge from San Francisco and stood at its mid-point taking in the beauty of the engineering and the stunning views was one of the most glorious days of my life. Sad I know. But as well as grand structures I also like beautifully designed smaller buildings especially family homes, offices and public facilities. But the flip side of admiring lovely architecture is that I can’t help but notice and complain about really ugly buildings or incongruous planning allowing buildings to sit uncomfortably in a particular setting and I especially hate to see public buildings fall into disrepair. So having moaned in the past about some particularly horrible examples of these in the Teddington area I thought it was time for an update.