sharing news and views from Crouch End and Hornsey
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Looks even more gorgeous than it does already.
I've been up to look at the big cardboard pictures which are on display in the foyer of the Ice Rink.
By and large I'd say I'm impressed, but there does seem to be a danger.
I'm impressed by several things:
1) the clever simplicity with which the ideas have been presented - breaking it all down into 6 big ideas is pretty clever and makes the proposed changes to a complex building easy to follow
2) the maintenance of the notion that the BBC studios should become a World Heritage Site - this is not an easy goal to pursue and could easily have been dropped
3) finding appropriate uses for all the parts of a complex building - even making use of the huge basement
4) understanding the heritage and attempting to restore much of it - for example the theatre
5) understanding the geographical factors and making the effort to render it the splendid building it once was, by for example reducing the visual impact of the roads that now surround the building
6) building into the proposals the things that will make this a popular destination in the 21st Century
Now its that last point that seems to me to contain the seeds of the danger. What is popular seems to me to cater to the lowest common denominator (I am a bit of a snob). The sort of things I mean are fast foods served in buns or polystyrene boxes, endless Association Football on the telly (and the radio and the papers and the barber's chair and . . .) and moderately good singers being hailed as geniuses. If what is being proposed will cater to those sorts of tastes, then I won't like it - it will be like Playa de Las Americas on Tenerife, which is just about bearable for a week but not what you want permanently on your doorstep.
I understand that the man in charge now is Duncan Wilson, and that he has done things in good taste at Somerset House and the Greenwich Foundation, so perhaps my worst fears won't be realised