The UK is notorious for having an eclectic mix of traditional, modern and eccentric architecture. In this blog, we’ll take a look at four of the most visually interesting buildings that the nation has to offer.
Constructed in 1969 by the Building Design Partnership, this uniquely modern public building in Lancashire has been subject to both praise and disdain throughout its lifespan. Its colossal size – a ground floor double the standard height, as well as 40 bus terminals – brought it close to being demolished in 2013, as essential renovation fees stacked up to around £23m. However, protest from local residents and architecture buffs, who cited the curved concrete terraces as an example of quintessential European Brutalism, led to it being listed as an English Heritage site.
Architects Herzog & de Meuron don’t often receive enough credit for innovatively converting a power station into an international hub of contemporary art. The building was originally designed by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott in 1947, and after the Bankside Power Station was closed in 1981, as part of their commission to design a new gallery for the Tate the architecture firm decided to simply adapt the building rather than start afresh. This is most evident in the yawning Turbine Hall, which with a height of five storeys has maintained many of its original features and has become a popular display space for large installations since the gallery opened in 2000.
For all of its intricate design, with its globular Indian-style domes and minarets, the Brighton Pavillion nonetheless an uncanny sight on the British coastline. The building was designed by John Nash for King George IV to act as a royal retreat away from the hubbub of London. It was also the perfect spot for him to entertain his mistress, Maria Fitzherbert, and recover from gout. The architecture exemplifies the fascination with all things ‘exotic’ and ‘oriental’ that gripped Europe throughout the Regency era.
Another staple of 1970s Brutalism, North Kensington’s Trellick Tower has gone from eyesore to iconic since its completion in 1972 – a time when tower blocks were already going out of fashion due to their association with anti-social behaviour. Nicknamed the ‘Tower of Terror’ due to its starkly Brutalist architecture and the rampant acts of crime in its concrete hallways, the tower was designed by Hungarian architect Erno Goldfinger. It is even rumoured that Goldfinger’s distinctive buildings so offended Ian Fleming, that he went as far as to name one of his most epochal Bond villains after him. As a result, Trellick Tower has long since acquired a cult status, and has featured in film, television and music videos many times over the years.
The key to building something truly unique is to start with a solid foundation, and here at Below Ground we can help you achieve exactly that. As a leading piling contractor in Bristol, we have assisted countless customers with quality foundation construction and concrete foundation repair so that whatever you choose to build on top will be appropriately reinforced and built to last. Over the years we have built a reputation for excellence and are proud to provide a professional, efficient service at competitive prices. For more information, please get in touch.