a life in architecture david lodge
David Lodge is the funniest English novelist since Evelyn Waugh; and like Waugh he is fundamentally serious. The buildings he nominates represent his family, his work and his religion. His home in Edgbaston, Birmingham, was designed in the 1970s: 'a rather unusual cubist building with no eaves' and 'a lot of exposed brickwork and hard wood inside.'
The Lodges have made two modifications which they are pleased with: they have enlarged the narrow living room and created a garden patio under Lodge's study, which is protected by a mellow redbrick wall, part of a Victorian chapel of ease.
The Round Reading Room in the old British Library (above) is the setting for the hilarious climax of Lodge's The British Museum is Falling Down. He worked in the room for two years and found it 'full of metaphorical and symbolic possibilities . . . that craniumshaped dome.' Saddened to see it abandoned, he went back on one of the last days it was open to write a valedictory piece.
'I'm a Catholic, albeit a demythologised and marginalised one, ' says Lodge, naming his third choice, Westminster Cathedral: 'The interior was to have been clad entirely in marble, but the church couldn't afford it, so the marble stops about a third of the way up.
You get a contrast between the rich marble below and the rather sootylooking brick above, which I find extraordinarily powerful. It qualifies the triumphalism of the building. I hope they never manage to cover the whole thing in marble.'