things magazine / about / what's new? / archive / photos / projects / order / rss / search
photography from the pre-flickr era
projects, scans and collections
Where is things 19/20?
What is things magazine?
The Pelican Project
thingsmagazine.tumblr.com
external links
0lll
2 or 3 things I know
aalog
actar
adam curtis
agence eureka
aggregat 4/5/6
alice the architect
all about nothing (x)
all things considered (x)
alphaville
alttext
ambit magazine
anarchitecture
and another thing
anti-mega
apothecary's drawer
arcspace
arch daily
archinect
archidose
archiveteam
architects' journal
architect's newspaper blog
architectural review
architectural ruminations
architecture.mnp
archnewsnow
arkitektur
art fag city
art is everywhere
art newspaper
arts journal
artnotes
ashleyb
atelier a+d
ateliermob
atlas (t)
atlas obscura
badaude
bad british architecture
bifurcated rivets
the big picture
blanketfort
bldg blog
blissblog
b'blog of 'israeli
boing boing
b******* to architecture
books from finland
booooooom
bottom drawer (x)
bouphonia
bowblog
bradley's almanac
buchanansmith
butterpaper
cabinet magazine
cabinet of wonders
candyland (x)
cartoonist (the)
cartype
caterina
city of sound
city comforts
collision detection
conscientious
continuity in architecture
coromandal
core77
coroflot
cosmopolitan scum
coudal
creative review blog
curious expeditions
daily jive
dancing bears (x)
daniel eatock
dark roasted blend
david thompson
death by architecture
delicious
delicious ghost
deputy dog (x)
derelict london
designboom
design bivouac
design observer
dezain
dezeen
diamond geezer
digitally distributed environments
diskant
efimera
eliot shepard
ephemera
excitement machine
eye of the goof
fantastic journal
fed by birds
feuilleton
ftrain
fireland
first drafts
five foot way
Ffffound!
further
future feeder
gadgets.fosfor.se
gapers block
giornale nuovo
greg
grow-a-brain
haddock
halvorsen
hat projects
hchamp
hello beautiful!
hot wheels
htc experiments
hyperkit
hyperreal and supercool
i like
iconeye.com
incoming signals
infinite thought
inhabitat
the interior prospect
irregular orbit
iso50
jean snow
joe moran's blog
josh rubin
judit bellostes
kanye west
kazys
keep left london
kosmograd
kottke
landliving
languagehat
largehearted boy
last plane to jakarta
lewism
life without buildings
lightningfield (x)
limited language (x)
literary saloon
loca london
london architecture diary
london review of books
low tech magazine
made by machines for people
made in china '69
magCulture
making light
mananarama
map room
material world
mcsweeneys
men's vogue daily
metafilter
metafilter projects
microkhan
militant esthetix
millennium people
mimoa
miss representation
mocoloco
moosifer jones' grouch
monocle
monoscope
mountain 7
mrs deane
music thing (x)
myrtle street
netdiver
no, 2 self
nothing to see here
noisy decent graphics
noticias arquitectura
NTK
nyclondon
obscure store
obsessive consumption
one plus one equals three
oobject
open brackets (x)
ouno design
overmorgen (x)
panopticist
parenthetically's
partIV (x)
pcl linkdump
the peel tapes
perpenduum
personism
platforma arquitectura
plasticbag (x)
pointingit (x)
polar intertia
plep
print fetish
quiet feather (x)
raccoon
rashomon
re: design news
reference library
rock, paper, shotgun
rodcorp
rogue semiotics
rolu
rossignol
rotational
route 79
russell davies
sachs report
salon
samuel pepys' diary
school of life
scrubbles
segal books
sensing architecture
sensory impact
sesquipedalist
sevensevennine
shape and colour
sharpeworld
shift
shorpy
sit down man, you're...
slow web
snopes
space and culture
spambot_stopper
speak up
spillway
spitting image
strange attractor
strange harvest
strange maps
strawdogs
subterranea britannica
subtopia
sugar-n-spicy
supercolossal
superspatial
swapatorium
swiss miss
tecnologia obsoleta
tecznotes
telstar logistics
tesugen
textism
that's how it happened
the art of where
the deep north
the letter
the model city
the moment blog
the morning news
the nonist
the northern light
the one train
the serif
the silver lining
the white noise revisited
they rule
things to look at
this isn't London
tom phillips
tomorrow's thoughts today
transpontine
turquoise days (x)
typographica
urban cartography
urbantick
vitamin q
voyou desoeuvre
vwork
wallpaper
we make money not art
we will become
weblogs.com
weburbanist
where (x)
white noise of everyday life
wikipedia
wikio
witold riedel
whole lotta nothing
wood s lot
wrong distance
xblog


weblog archives
eXTReMe Tracker
Wednesday, January 21, 2004
The Tricorn Centre is coming down, finally. Portsmouth's most radical building - and some say the most hated structure in Britain - is due for demolition in March. The site will fester for a few months (years?) as a car park, before being turned into the snappily-named Northern Quarter. The building has had a stay of execution before, but this might finally be it.

When I first started writing about the Tricorn Centre about six years ago there was scant information and even less enthusiasm. The received wisdom was that this was a monumental white elephant, an architectural blunder universally loathed since its exception. To a certain extent this is true (see the timeline): some stores were never let, the design proved tricky to police and British weather brought out the worst aspects of the concrete construction.

In the past couple of years or so a number of websites relating to the building have sprung up: a sure sign of renewed public interest. See shopping in the sixties (at the excellent fifties and sixties and its sister site seaside history), several pages of photographs, even more photos at garfnet, the cheery Proles for Modernism (which aims to save the building), the local council's page on Tricorn history and the excellent set of links and information from The Portsmouth Society.

Proles for Modernism have a point: it's a bold utopian statement, the likes of which are nearly impossible to replicate at a time when shopping centres are systems-built, empty vessels given character and life only by the brands which inhabit them. PforM aim 'to undermine the aesthetics of consumption by consuming aesthetics', suggesting that the public realm needs a certain degree of challenging abstraction. Their argument, fringed with mythological and pagan beliefs, is that the building is a 'machine for revolution' in that it 'negates bourgeois culture. It puts people off shopping' (my italics).

Perhaps this is the Tricorn's problem: a resolute anti-commercial appearance. The building never functioned as an attraction, but as another component of the city, even a small city-state in its own right with its own flats and pubs. Compare it to Portsmouth's other main shopping centres, both of which post-date the Tricorn. The Cascades and the more recent Gunwharf Quays are 'destinations.' The former offers 'shopping without the weather', and the latter offers the 'ultimate waterfront destination' (and is the location of the half-finished Spinnaker Tower). These are modern shopping centres, places to spend a whole day, to eat, to watch movies and, above all, to buy. The Tricorn's streetscapes were meant to be used like just another part of the city, a zone of passing, looking and experiencing, engaging with consumption and consumerism, but not, in any way, being overwhelmed by the experience. I suspect it'll be missed once it's gone.

Some other things. The nominations for the 2004 bloggies are up and awaiting your votes. As ever, clicking on the unknown is informative: shiny plastic bag, chocolate & zucchini, and, from the criminally overlooked category, broken type. Elsewhere, some more well-designed personal websites that have caught our eye like diamonds in the rough: accidental, a large head and cloudiness (with excellent photos).

Kultureflash publishes an incredible gallery of Brasilia photographs by Michael Wesely, who specialises in long exposures / No Sense of Place celebrates Tintinís 75th anniversary / play classic Sim City online / artistís studios, via the cartoonist / big, arty gif / game girl advance muses on the virtual simulation of familiar places Ė or recognising your home town in computer games.

The weird world of Jani Kaunisto, via Ella Guruís Voodoo kitchen, who also links to goose diapers, this virtual guitar and the photography of Alison Wonderland (including a great music section) / more snow! / cooking with spices, the amazing collective knowledge harness that is ask me-fi once again comes up trumps.