You might have noticed the new multi chimney building above Westminster Tube
Station. Yes, that's the one that took a millennia to build, costing endless wads of
cash, so that our poor overfed politicians might have somewhere to hold their
business lunches. This state of the art pigpen is a real life study in
the art of wasting government funds, ie our hard earned funds.
The government spent úzillions upon this showroom just like there was no tommorow. Its not as if they
exactly re-created Xanadu. I just cant see where the money went, unless you count the foundations
that propped the whole thing up above the station.
Maybe they did spend a lot on those business lunches.
The destruction of this block and the old station meant turmoil for the whole area for years,
and although I admit that the inclusion of the Jubilee Line is indeed some advancement, they have yet again gone way overboard in catering for tourist capacity and parliamentary greed.
It's sad to see a nice old building, shops and station scrapped at massive
expense. And the only gains are a miserable faceless tube hall, with and equally
faceless and awkward building aloft.
Chimneys: Political windbags spout
Bridge Street Palace Chambers & St Stephen's House
For many years, this site was the location for a not at all vulgar complex.
The 1-3 Bridge Street, Palace Chambers, and St Stephen's House block was
quite sedate in its design, and the perfect foil for it's elite surroundings.
After all, with its brethren of the glittering Big Ben, the powerful Old
Scotland Yard, and the classically fitted out Treasury, one certainly didnt
need a shocking statement in this arena. No modernist mass of morbid metal
needed to downgrade this area next to the commons. The Palace Gardens was
on any Big Ben postcard, and Winstons funeral. How could any goverment be
so damned foolish to let it go??? The old Bridge Street buildings were proud
old world London, dirty and dusty and historic. Built to last and to be loved.
A pleasurable sight to the tourists eye. St Stephen's House itself was famous
for being the initial HQ for Charles deGaulle and the Free french when they
arrived in London in 1940. This was an extremely dignified set of offices
that could have easily been converted and upgraded and kept for the nation.
Bridge Street: The original site.
This great unknown soldier housed many quiet little enterprises,
including the world famous 24-hr cabby's cafe,
which was an excellent venue to sup tea to the charms of Big Ben's chimes.
I can remember many a time looking at my dishevelled self in their mirrored walls at 3am.
Another section was the original site for the forthright and
smooth old gents playground of the St Stephens' club. And down below,
the original cutely tiled victorian olde Tube Station, very nice, adequate, and so lovable,
kept with the antique feel for the area, and had a fun 'MP's only' exit to the commons. There was plenty of office space available in this block to cater for any size mob of hot and sweaty politicians. Definately no need to
wipe out the architecture.
This area was a conservation target, and technologically, everything was ripe for an easy refit. Time saw the sad death of these buildings, after
being left to rot. Isnt it just typical when they just let buildings rot away
so they can excuse their demolition orders. This was the sad fate of this
Palace Chambers in better days.
Behold: The waste that is Portcullis.
I cringe to see the destruction and waste of money, but i'm also displeased
at Portcullis' design. With those silly ugly chimneys and uninviting exterior,
it's downgraded the area. Why couldn't they leave well alone? It's supposed
to be a masterpiece in art and engineering, but only on paper,
because the plans have
resulted in an odd looking interior too. Fighting past the masses of security
one is instantly upon a vast, typical, and sleeky modern atrium, disfigured by the many spokes and supporting braces for the roofing and superstructure.
It's a selection of
silly steelworks that really belong on the neighbouring London Eye. Extremely
expensive trees line the causeway, which should have made for a breathtaking
oasis, but instead are the only life in a vomit coloured overlit bear pit, littered with canteen furniture and even more security guards. What a disgrace
in comparison with the delightful buildings that Portcullis dared to replace.
Portcullis House: Smokestack
Charles (of London Town)
The London Destruction Website.