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Astragal: Cistern analysts cause upset at Barbican Centre

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The Twentieth Century Society is set to kick up a stink over plans by Surrey-based consultant Simmons Taylor Hall to upgrade the men’s toilets at London’s Barbican Centre and destroy what is believed to be London’s longest urinal.

In what could be described as a slash-and-burn strategy, the firm wants to replace the behemoth, slab-like, communal wee-wall on the lower floors of the listed London estate’s famous art centre, with individual ceramic bowls.

The work was commissioned by the Barbican in response to a pile of complaints about the existing Chamberlin, Powell and Bon-designed facilities, including grumbles over the stench and lack of privacy for those spending a penny.

Comment from a Barbican spokesperson:

’There is currently a live planning application for listed building consent to make improvements to the men’s toilets on the minus 1.5 level at the Barbican. This responds to the need to bring the facilities up to the required standard in terms of both condition and functionality. Full heritage considerations have been undertaken, and are detailed within the application information. We have not received any feedback on the application to date.’

Lord Rogers and the Thin White Duke

David Bowie Outside

David Bowie Outside

Following the death of David Bowie, a revival of his songs has led to Richard Rogers learning that he had been a hit with the singer.

It turns out that Rogers was namechecked on the singer’s 1995 album Outside on the track Thru’ These Architects Eyes.

Both Rogers and Philip Johnson are mentioned in the first verse of the song, whose lyrics run:
‘And stomping along on this big Philip Johnson
Is delay just wasting my time/Looking across at Richard Rogers
Scheming dreams to blow both their minds.’

Rogers, who had been previously unaware of the reference, told Record magazine he was a fan of Bowie, and ‘delighted to be included in one of his songs’.  

Base jumpers leap from Brighton tower

i 360

i 360

Marks Barfield’s i360 tower on Brighton seafront had some unwanted visitors last weekend. The tower, which is still under construction, was infiltrated by BASE jumpers.

It is understood five jumpers broke into the 162m-tall viewing tower early on Saturday morning. They then scaled to the top before jumping off with parachutes.

Work had completed the previous week on the glass viewing pod, which will gently glide up 138m, offering a gradually unfolding view of Brighton and the English Channel.  

Garden Bridge is crossing continents

Garden Bridge ad

Garden Bridge ad

The Garden Bridge is being advertised in Kuala Lumpur of all places, it has emerged.

The ad across the side of an escalator was spotted by a Twitter user travelling through the city’s airport, and Astragal has discovered that it was paid for by banking giant and Garden Bridge ‘founding donor’ Citi.

‘We showcase bold and ambitious projects that make or will make a difference to the lives of citizens around the world’, a Citi spokesperson said.

If things don’t work out in London, maybe the Malaysians can build the bridge in their own capital.

RIBA acts to prevent Rich pickings of gossip

Harry Rich

Harry Rich

The RIBA continues to remain sensitive over the prospect of its councillors speaking to the press.

Following the departure of chief executive Harry Rich, the institute emailed councillors reminding them to ‘be cautious in [their] relations with the press and [to be] careful not to speculate publicly or bring the RIBA into disrepute’.  

It’ll have to try harder than that to stop Astragal getting the gossip.


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