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John Pardey

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Comments (3)

  • Comment on: Weekend roundup: People in glass houses shouldn’t frolic about in dressing gowns

    John Pardey's comment 18 February, 2019 11:33 am

    It seems that Gehry has made an altogether more appropriate cultural reference than the Simpsons with his proposals for Wimbledon - is that not a womble peering from the middle of the projection - albeit a womble portraying a malevolent character from an operatic piece?

    Perhaps the inaugural concert should be a tribute to a great and living British composer and adopted son of Wimbledon - Mike Batt?

  • Comment on: New book celebrates Thomas Hardy the architect

    John Pardey's comment 9 November, 2018 1:24 pm

    As a lifelong Hardy addict (my grandmother, as child, knew Thomas Hardy) and having read everything he has written many times over, I am always happy to have another book on Hardy.
    I enjoyed this book, and I admired the argument that his architectural training helped shape his view of the world. To be honest, Hardy was not a particularly good architect – Max Gate is little more than depressing – and his interests were more in conservation. But what really leapt out of this book is the way he created a fictional-real world with his Wessex, like Narnia or Middle Earth. A good read but a slightly tenuous theory that Hardy's training did have such a strong influence on his novels. But my, it reminds you what a forward thinker he was and what a magnificent writer.

  • Comment on: Jonathan Meades and Owen Hatherley attack EH listing decision

    John Pardey's comment 4 April, 2014 5:38 pm

    Fawley Power Station should be listed and saved for future generations.
    I actually worked on the fit-out of the circular control building back in 1976 as a technician with Farmer + Dark, a few years after its completion, but the office was still working on it, as it had been for decades.
    Walking into the turbine hall was one of my first 'wow' moments in architecture - four enormous turbines sitting within a top-lit cathedral to power. Farmer + Dark took pleasure in wrapping industrial infrastructure in glass as Peter Behrens had done back in the first decade of the 20th century, and the facetted glazing that culminates in prisms against the sky to crown the power station are spectacular and beautiful.
    Only the control block could be called Brutalist, with its concrete carapace – the turbine hall is functionally elegant and almost romantic.
    To sit on Calshot Spit, as I have done so many times as my kids learnt to windsurf in the lagoon under the shadow of this behemoth, watching the sun set through the glass crown, is to be seduced by its power.
    English Heritage, think again please.
    John Pardey, Hampshire.

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