Friday, 14 December 2012

Another Oxford Street Beauty

A Portland Stone beauty on Oxford Street North Side. And look at that decoration, that crest, those mosaics.

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Transforming Oxford Street

Oxford Street urgently needs a refurb. Its buildings recall a grander age of retail and they could delight us again.

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Looking Up to Oxford Street

Haha, neither the smog nor the freezing fog but, as previously noted, the shadow of Oxford Street's South Side on the buildings of the North Side - highlighting the beautiful gables.
PS: I'd love to know who designed the remarkable little building featured yesterday (please see below).

Monday, 10 December 2012

Oxford Street North Side on the Corner of Hanway Place

What do you make of this Oxford Street building? I find it a jewel of restrained modernist design. It's No. 52, on the corner of Oxford Street and Hanway Place, and if you can throw any light on its architectural origins I'd be grateful. It's presently home to a perfectly nice Noodle Oodle on the ground floor.

The side elevation shows the design in more detail. The paint is relatively recent: the original surface is shiny black highly polished stone.

Oxford Street North Side

Oxford Street is a beautifully wide street, with  beautiful period architecture - capable of being transformed into a true boulevard.

Friday, 7 December 2012

Oxford Street in the Age of Crossrail

This building is in what is known as the low-rent end of Oxford Street - but in fact all the buildings above the shops fronts are magnificent in some way. Given enough TLC, they could transform Oxford Street into a European quarter of distinction.  .

Thursday, 6 December 2012

The Splendour of Oxford Street North Side

Oh, look at that architectural flourish at the top, those window arches, and those Ionic columns - what you can see of them in the picture - cf. the previous entry for explanation of the strong shadow.

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

The Gables of Oxford Street North Side

Picturing the section of Oxford Street that runs from Oxford Circus to Tottenham Court Road, but this time the North Side.

Note: these pictures were all taken at noon on Sunday when the low sun had moved to the north - you can see the shadow of the buildings on the opposite side of the street superimposed on the North Side buildings, showing up the beauty of the gables even more imo.

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Last Shot of Oxford Street South Side

The intersection of Oxford Street and Tottenham Court Road,* the Centrepoint building on the left; the brave new architecture of one of Crossrail's central London hubs will sit on the corner.

 *As a bonus, a view of the familiar convoy of London's taxi cabs plying for trade and holding up legitimate public transport vehicles.

Friday, 30 November 2012

Oxford Street: London's New Downtown?

The City of London lost its Downtown, tragically, through fire in the 17th century. But the heart of a city is its Downtown, both for residents and visitors. There is another city, however, the City of Westminster: its heart is Oxford Street. A Cloth Hall (Oxford Market) stood on the northern side of Oxford Street (where Market Square now stands) until the 1880s. The street is commercial and beautiful at the same time. Look at this building, look at those windows, that gable, that sunray stonework above the window pediment. All that stops this building competing with the equally delightful examples in Amsterdam and Brussels is its state of repair. I won't mention the shop front.

Sally Crawford, 30 November 2012

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Gable of the Day

Another Oxford Street beauty from the eastern section running from the Circus to Tottenham Court Road. This is the south side: north side next week.

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

So beautiful and so unloved

Oxford Street is retail but I can so easily imagine it as a treasure house of fancy gablework in addition to retail.

Monday, 26 November 2012

Oxford Street Gables

Beautiful gables, even on a dull day. Does anyone ever look up and notice these?

Friday, 23 November 2012

Entertaining - or not?

Warning: architectural jokes coming up. This photograph from the Egypt in England exhibition shows part of the carved Egyptian Frieze at Warwick Road (Flaxyard Plc).

It depicts the god Seth. He originally carried the ankh, the symbol of life, but they've given him a power drill. There is worse: the goddess Neith, further along the frieze, is depicted seated 'to accommodate a service doorway'.

The whole thing was originally planned as part of an Egyptian-themed office development and is now part of the outside wall of a Sainsbury's.

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Egypt in England

The lovely Bastet, mousehunter in chief

The frieze is part of an Egyptian frieze installed at Warwick Road and exhibited in Egypt in England. The architects are Flaxyard Plc and further along the frieze there is a particularly entertaining joke which I will show you later.

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Glorious gables

An Oxford Street gable to note - isn't it beautiful?

Neglected Gables of Oxford Street

Three gables on the south side of Oxford Street between Oxford Circus and Tottenham Court Road. The roofline is already starting to change. Any Dutch- or Flemish-loving architects and engineers interested in taking this further?

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Gorgeous Gables of Oxford Street

An unsympathetic shopfront can massively detract from integrity of the building above it.

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Revisioning Oxford Street?

I have always loved the buildings of Oxford Street. It's not the fault of the buildings if retailers and others install inappropriately designed fascias on the ground floors. The picture shows a beautifully restrained 1930s building in Soho Street that is being put under scaffolding and gutted. The buildings to the right of it, also under scaffolding, are on the corner of Soho Street and Oxford Street.

1. I wonder what is happening to the corner building – if any demolition is going on, I hope that Westminster City Council, part of whose glorious domain this is, will ensure that the new buildings will sit well with the existing fabric.

2. I wonder what is happening to the Soho Street building – it is a fine brick and Portland Stone façade with granite at the base. The ground floor fascia has been hashed about a bit and would benefit from appropriate restoration.

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Builders at Westminster Abbey

I love the way builders brightly illuminate the spaces they have to work in.

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Thursday, 18 October 2012

The Flemish-style gables of Soho: probably responsible for starting my whole interest in architecture. This is the latest incarnation of the Blue Posts Inn on the corner of Berwick and Broadwick Streets.

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Beautifully refurbished 19th-century shop in Warwick Street - a little further up from the European Bookshop if you're down that way.

Monday, 8 October 2012

Right on the button

A well-loved local coffee shop advertising the life-giving properties of its coffee.

Friday, 5 October 2012

Never noticed before . . .

The sculpture above the doorway of Goldbeaters' House (the name back translates to 'the house of goldbeaters [plural]' so the apostrophe (should come) after the 's' if you're wondering) next to Foyles in Manette Street Soho.

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Thursday was National Poetry Day - hail to the people who dig up the roads - to keep the lights on and and our computers and devices running. We are all poets of a sort since making things can be thought of as poetry.

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Water play

The undulating fountains at the King's Cross site of Central St Martin's, University of the Arts London.

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

This lovely tube map cover design is by Tracey Emin, commissioned by Art on the Underground. The artist has drawn the Central Line as a leafy tree limb, branching off and supporting singing birds. I hadn't seen it before yesterday.

© 2012 London Underground

Friday, 28 September 2012

West End Beauties

The start of a series of neglected architectural beauties in and around the West End, this one is near the corner of Soho Street and Oxford Street: look at those windows - and the lease is for sale.

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

The Shard at Night

Recommended: a walk along the north bank of the Thames, companionably accompanied, after dark.

Saturday, 15 September 2012

19th century London sometimes looks a bit squashed up when surrounded by brave new 21st century London but I'm glad it's there.

Friday, 14 September 2012

A quiet Mayfair lane to compensate for the insanity that is the Friday rush.

Thursday, 16 August 2012

Seen in passing . . .

No idea how to interpret it though except
as dosages, but of what, and from whom?