Monday, September 29, 2008

St Pancras and Westfield

The beautifully restored St Pancras has been scarred by a terrible sign - dumb, blockish san-serif interrupted by a silly Gothic 't'. This is not funny. What is funny is the sign on the giant Westfield shopping centre that is about to transform West London. Having commissioned some rather refined architecture - not good, my pal Will Alsop did that wall of syncopated shades of a single colour much better twenty years ago, but not actually bad - they then stuck Westfield's horrible red sign with its student mag/burger bar lettering on the outside. This does not bode well for their 'vision'. But neither, I suppose, does the fact that by the time it opens next month nobody will have any money and the visionary halls of Westfield will be inhabited by tumble weeds and beggars warming their hands on the dying embers of 'international designer and luxury brands.' 


  1. So that's what it is. I've driven past there a few times and had thought it was some kind of new BBC Fuhrerbunker with an especially lavish office at the top for the, er, top man. Oh well. It will be packed from day one, I'd guess. As you say, these places are where you go when you don't have any money. If you have got money, you don't need to go there.

    A kind of gigantic Damien Hirst installation about a way of life that's just gone down the pan, perhaps. Don't wear an expensive watch, leave your valuables at home and take plenty of coins so that you can escape the clutches of Chuggers without revealing your stash.

  2. It may be beautifully restored but I defy anyone to work in the area (near Kings X in my case) and retain sanity. The underground station (refurbished after 5 years of works at great expense) is a totally inadequate, badly designed hell. Scores more passengers because of the international terminus, the area just can't cope. Every day brings a new hell. Death would be prefereable, I often think as I tread my ghastly course to and from my place of employment.