London Evening Standard (West End Final B) - ES Homes and Property - - Design -

Ernö Goldfin­ger’s Trel­lick Tower is a world­class mas­ter­piece. I love The Economist build­ing, which is like a tiny Man­hat­tan in St James’s, it has that New York feel, by Ali­son and Peter Smith­son, who are some of my most ad­mired ar­chi­tects. And Inigo Jones’s Queen’s Chapel is won­der­ful.


I go to Oval Farm­ers’ Mar­ket on Satur­day — very good veg from Perry Court Farm in Kent and re­ally good bread. We get meat in Clapham Old Town from M Moen & Sons (moen.co.uk), it’s sen­sa­tional. And the 24-hour Turk­ish Oli Food Cen­tre, with its bright red frontage, at 344 Wal­worth Road is bril­liant for oil and feta.


Flo and I bought a print by the artist and graphic de­signer So­phie Small­horn (so­phies­mall­horn.co.uk) who had an ex­hi­bi­tion at The Tea Build­ing in Shoreditch.


I love or­di­nary things ex­traor­di­nar­ily well done, like Du­ralex Gi­gogne Tum­blers (from twen­tytwen­ty­one.com). They’re hand­some drink­ing

from the Fifties, the Eames High Back Soft Pad Chair ren­ders fur­ther ex­per­i­men­ta­tion in chair de­sign un­nec­es­sary, says Bayley

As a man who has writ­ten a book about taste (Taste: The Se­cret Mean­ing of Things), the one thing cer­tain about the his­tory of taste is judg­ments are in­se­cure. I think the re­de­vel­ope­ment of Vic­to­ria suf­fers from a dearth of ar­chi­tec­tural ideas or a sense of pur­pose. The Shard, apart from be­ing un­in­tel­li­gent, is just a mas­sive front — a big bloody mid­dle fin­ger to Lon­don. The ar­chi­tect of the Shard, Renzo Pi­ano, was the part­ner of Richard Rogers and you can say ex­actly the same about the Pom­pi­dou Cen­tre, which is a re­mark­able thing, but bul­ly­ing, and has com­pletely sucked the life out its lo­ca­tion. Build­ings need to work in con­text. De­vel­op­ers are greedy, lo­cal au­thor­i­ties are of­ten stupid, and most ar­chi­tects wan­ton and ob­se­quious. Just look at the Nor­man Foster build­ing, Al­bion River­side in Bat­tersea, which looks like tes­ti­cles.


I’d love to live in Nor­man Shaw’s Swan House in Cheyne Walk but as it was last sold for £32 mil­lion, how about Car­lyle’s House in Old Chelsea which has no elec­tric­ity? Or Halsey Ri­cardo’s Deben­ham House in Hol­land Park?

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