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Astragal: Fancy a night down the Northern Powerhouse?

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A high-profile government bid to redress the north/south divide and attract investment to the North is news to most people who live there, it has emerged.

Two-thirds of those in the north of England have either never heard of, or know nothing about, the Northern Powerhouse, according to a BBC-commissioned survey.

The Northern Powerhouse, a pet project of chancellor George Osborne, aims to promote urban agglomeration, better transport links and investment in science and technology. But BBC Newcastle reporter Fergus Hewison said he’d asked locals what it was and received replies including ‘a 1980s nightclub’ and ‘an electricity company’.

Farrell’s Pomo landmark bites the celluloid dust


The assault on Postmodern buildings from developers in the real world also seems to be taking place in the realms of fiction.

James Bond fans may recall Terry Farrell’s MI6 building in Vauxhall being targeted by villains in the movie Skyfall.

In the latest 007 outing, Spectre, the late-Pomo flagship is shown as a battered, derelict shell, which later suffers the indignity of being completely demolished by villain Blofeld.

Peckham’s rise makes locals nervous


One man’s regeneration is another’s gentrification - or so say the cynics. The rise of Peckham in south London over recent years has inevitably led to new pressure for redevelopment.

Local hipsters are currently fighting a residential planning application next to music venue Bussey Buildings, which they fear will lead to the venue’s closure.

Elsewhere, Carl Turner Architects is working on plans for a pair of new buildings to frame the entrance to Peckham Square - home to Will Alsop’s 1999 Stirling Prize-winning library.

Preliminary plans require the controversial removal of John McAslan’s 35m-span steel and timber canopy, erected in the mid-90s. Turner told Astragal: ‘The canopy was a symbol of renewal and was vital in its time but now it could be holding back the square.’

Architects are holding out for a hero


Well done to those at Chichester-based practice Hunters South Architects who raised £180 for Children in Need last week by dressing up as their childhood heroes for the day.

However, despite the best efforts of the AJ’s editorial staff, we were unable to identify all of the characters depicted. Any suggestions welcome in the comments box below.

The brutal truth


The Twentieth Century Society has produced a map showing London’s Brutalist landmarks.

Published in conjunction with Blue Crow Media, the map pinpoints more than 50 buildings, including the Southbank Centre, the Barbican and Erno Goldfinger’s Trellick Tower.

Also there are Basil Spence’s Hyde Park Barracks and the Smithsons’ Robin Hood Gardens - both of which were turned down for listing despite campaigns by the society.

A stoic spokesman for the organisation confessed: ‘Inclusion on the map doesn’t mean the buildings are saved for posterity.’


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