Apollo Pavilion refurbished

On this most auspicious day for space travel it seems fitting to note that Peterlee's Apollo Pavilion has been completely refurbished. Designed by Victor Pasmore and opened in 1969, it had fallen into disrepair, and plans to regenerate it were controversial to say the least.

We visited in 2006 and it was certainly a sight. From Nothing To See Here:

Today it is truly a depressing site - dingy and grey, concrete spalling all over, the murals barely visible with the lake emitting a repellent stench in the background. Public opposition has grown to the point where local councillor Joan Maslin, the Pavilion’s most outspoken critic, tried to enlist the Army, The Prince of Wales and even Jimmy Savile to get rid of it. In 1982 Pasmore himself became involved and faced the local community. He magnanimously commented that the graffiti had humanised his work and suggested, sensibly some might think, that perhaps the locals causing the damage should be removed instead. As a compromise, the steps were demolished, making it less accessible. Sadly this also rendered it fairly useless and even more imposing as walking under its great grey bulk is about as enjoyable as walking over it.

And I liked it. So now the steps have been reinstated, the murals repainted, the concrete repaired and the surroundings landscaped. It's looking mighty fine if these photos by farleychunks are anything to go by. It must have been a long, hard slog to get that done. Great to see it looking so good again.

St Peter's Seminary, Cardross

As admin of the Gillespie Kidd and Coia Flickr group, I got a lovely email from the people at Glasgow School of Art Library and Archives saying they have put lots of photos from the GKC Archives online. It's an amazing collection, including many photos of buildings that have been demolished or substantially altered. The photo above shows St Peter's Seminary in Cardross, Scotland's most famous ruin, in its original state.

BOAC offices, Buchanan Street, Glasgow

The collection is organised into sets (don't you just love librarians and Flickr together - a perfect match) so it's easy to browse. Here's another photo from the supercool BOAC Offices in Buchanan St, Glasgow which is now a branch of All Saints.

Notre Dame College of Education, Bearsden

The Rubble Club is a support group for bereaved architects. From the website:

The Rubble Club is an organisation to remember buildings demolished in their architect’s lifetime. The Club has three key ground rules:
  • Firstly the building’s architect must be alive and not party to its destruction
  • secondly the building must be built with the intention of permanence (exhibitions, shops and interiors are not eligible)
  • thirdly it must be deliberately destroyed or radically altered, it can’t simply burn down.

It was suggested by Isi Metzstein of Gillespie Kidd and Coia who has seen a few of his buildings disappear, including the partially demolished Notre Dame College of Education in Bearden. There's already a lively debate on most articles, from supporters who feel that more could be done to save the building in question, and detractors who point out the fatal flaw in the architect's plan. For Notre Dame it's the flat roofs, based on Moroccan architecture, transplanted to the soggy west of Scotland.

Red Trellick Tower skirt

Here's a good pairing - People Will Always Need Plates meet Clothkits to create A Trellick Tower skirt kit. It's available in different colours, some of which are in the sale. I know it would only be two minutes before I spilt a cup of tea down that, but it's lovely to look at.

Inside the Get Carter car park

FP has written a lovely tribute to the Trinity Square car park in Gateshead, made famous by its starring role in 70s gangster flick Get Carter. After many years as a local landmark, Owen Luder's concrete extravaganza is due to be torn down in the next few months to make way for a Tesco. No point dwelling on this really, just enjoy it while you can. I visited a few years ago, to admire its stately form and many others have made the same pilgrimage. There are some great photos (see above) on Derelict Places. This is what it looks like inside the architectural dangleberry that is the nightclub/restaurant that never came to be. May it rest in pieces.

Gateshead Get Carter car park

We Live Here from Sheffield make wonderful art prints, t-shirts and accoutrements featuring risky modern buildings. The prints feature Owen Luder's Get Carter car park in Gateshead, soon to be demolished apparently, Sheffield's Egg Box, New Roxy Disco and Cooling Towers, remaindered from a long gone power station. If you like these, wait 'til you see the memorial Sheffield Castle Market Greasy Spoon Mug.

Sheffield Castle Market greasy spoon mug

Deep joy. Thanks Simon James for the tip (via Creative Review blog).

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