Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Four minutes...

So I missed voting in the BBC's Stirling Prize poll by that. Four minutes. Frustrating since I'd basically made up my mind on seeing the video of the Park Hill rennovation but I wanted to be fair so I watched the others too. 

It doesn't matter of course - RIBA's judges won't be paying a blind bit of notice to the BBC's poll but it's frustrating all the same. 

That said I'm glad I looked around the other entries - some fantastic buildings in there and each of the little mini documentaries was nicely put together. Newhall Be and Astly Castle especially caught my eye... but whether it's regional bias or my deep rooted fondness for brutalist architecture I couldn't say, but Park Hill is the stand out for me. 

Growing up in South Yorkshire, Sheffield was where we went to shop, when real shopping was required. As a kid of course "real shopping" meant toy shopping (invariably only near birthdays and xmas) and toy shopping in my childhood meant Redgates. Perhaps then the stirring I get from views of Park Hill, high on it's bluff overlooking Sheffield has as much to do with seeing it from the car window on such trips? My own personal Colossus of Rhodes standing sentinel over Sheffield Parkway signalling we'd reached the place where all the toys were...


I'd like to think it has at least something to do with the aesthetics and the purpose of the project as well - seeing that yearning post-war optimisim inherent in the building reinvigorated and made new for a C21st audience is really exciting. The honesty of the design is refreshing too - the bare concrete features in some of the interiors (yes Virginia, concrete can be beautiful!) and the way the simple, large windows and bold colour panels play with the strong lines of the original structure. 

Regardless of it winning the award I really hope the project continues, and the whole estate gets this new lease on life. 

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

newness! v6 is here :)

It's not yet 100% if I'm honest: mobile navigation isn't displaying yet (which is a shame because the new design is responsive so the pages all rearrange themselves beautifully for small devices) visitors using Internet Explorer won't see the social media links in the right hand side of the menu bar, and the "share" links at the end of these blog posts look a bit out of place, being the default sharethis ones... There are probably other glitches too but I'll fix all of them, and hopefully soon.

For the most part the new design is ready to roll, and I'm very pleased with it - feel free to let me know your thoughts/bug reports in the comments.

The most important change is the new design page, the most thorough online "portfolio" I've done to date, and one I plan on expanding over time.

Long time visitors will notice a few things have gone as well - the last vestiges of the personal site which has been here for the past ten years have been retired to make way for the site's role as my business "shop window"... well all but one of the vestiges: I've kept the blog archive. ten years is a lot of blether to discard, even when there are as big gaps in it as there are.

If you miss the old personal content (and - just now - aren't using IE) you can supplement it with the social media links. I plan on adding to those too over time, possibly restoring some kind of photo album via flickr but we'll have to see if anything comes of that or not.

I also intend to update this blog more often. I know, I know, you've heard that before, but since I always tell clients there's no point in having a blog you don't update... practice what you preach and all that. There's likely to be more design related posts and less navel gazing though.

So onward and upward...