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Going Dutch in the City

Posted by fairbankguy on 15th May 2018 in Design | art-nouveau,dutch,faience,shipping,tiles,st mary axe,city of london,architecture
...n faience tiles and chamfered uprights. Step up to the entrance and look up to the ceiling and you’ll see some remarkable mosaics. Inside there are more delights apparently, with glass lanterns and stained glass, the result of a collaboration between Berlage and the artist Bart van der Leek. Don’t forget to walk around the building as you’ll see an addition from the 1960s, a ship’s prow by J Mendes da Costa. Now I need to charm the present tenants, Landmark Plc and gain entry…       ...

Hidden London

Posted by fairbankguy on 5th March 2016 in History |
...medieval tiles from Westminster and - my favourite - a medieval ‘Guy’ jug, made from earthenware and given a green glaze. It was in perfect condition. We saw archaeological reports, drawings  and photos from sites and even visitors’ books, complete with comments (“don’t build!”, “do!”). Our last stop took us to the Glass and Ceramic Store, which houses complete pieces, including the archive from the Whitefriars Glass, who made glassware for 160 years until the factory closed in 1980. One of the archaeologists brought out some 18th century tiles from The Olde Cheshire Cheese pub in Fleet Street, which depicted some quite explicit s...

The Senate and Students of London

Posted by fairbankguy on 25th November 2017 in Higher Education | art-deco,senate-house,ww2
...ravertine tiles, geometric decoration and seeing staircases. Not surprisingly it’s been used regularly in filming, standing in for Gotham City in Christopher Nolan’s Batman films, as well Nanny McPhee and the Big Bang, Jack Ryan, Muppets Most Wanted, The Theory of Everything; and the Bollywood Jhoom Barabar Jhoom. Occasionally  you can visit the rooftop, where you can enjoy an unrivalled 360º view of the London skyline; over to the City, with its skyscrapers; or as far as Battersea Power Station. Best of all, is the birds-eye view of the British Museum: you look down over the Great Court and the round Reading Room. There was once  a plan to conne...

500 years of Physicians

Posted by fairbankguy on 9th February 2018 in History | brutalism,lasdun,medicine,royal-college-of-physicians
...ior cream tiles and dark brick may clash with their Regency neighbours, inside Lasdun created an airy and functional space, inspired by anatomy. Around the central atrium distinguished physicians look down on today’s doctors, while many cabinets show a fascinating collection of historical medical instruments and artefacts. Some are not for the squeamish. A 17th father and son by the name of Pujean left a chest of some particularly painful pieces: a corkscrew-type mechanism for removing bullet holes from the battlefield; a trepanation saw for relieving head pain; instruments for performing lithotomy  - an excruciating operation a 25 year-old Samuel Pe...