WHAT’S LONDON’S UGLIEST BUILDING?
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.
MOST RECENT ARTWORK
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?