skylon 2.0

Posted in caught, thought by juliobesq on July 13, 2008

an earlier post whittered on about collective false nostalgia, concluding that every thirty years the childhoods of our parents are reinvented, and drawing on the skylon restaurant as an example. to discover weeks later that a campaign exists to rebuild the original skylon; sixty years on.

an amusing follow-up post… but on reflection surely this is an exercise in nostalgia alone, a hawking back, an implication that things were better ‘then’. the original skylon was built for the festival of britian, and politics may have led to it‘s downfall, but it has gone. an aside here, alexandra palace, another exhibition space has been destroyed then rebuilt a number a times, a testament to it‘s popularity in the lives of londoners.

london contains some great modern landmarks: the wobbly bridge; the gerkhin; the london eye, all of which serving as popular desintations and meeting points. admittedly access to the gerkin’s restaurant is limited, and dining there expensive, but the view from the bar is stunning.

we should be looking to the future, and if we are to have a new skylon, shouldn’t it be just that – a new skylon – not a replica, a facsimile.

the raising of funds would be better used for the commission of a new skylon, open to up and coming young architects, a structure in tune with modern britain, not a monument to 50‘s futurism, with it‘s retro stylings and symbolism.

better still a landmark that engages, or even encourages public participation. a proposal: a skylonesque structure utilising the technology behind the stunning dexia bank in brussels. visitors able to programme their own (vetted) displays, a cafe, night time synchronised concerts, merchandising possibilities to offset costs… bringing st james park alive in the evenings: one of the suggested locations.

creative review‘s blog entry on the dexia tower

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