Linked Hybrid

Went to Steven Holl’s Linked Hybrid, which turned out to be much shorter than the impression that I got from the pictures, perhaps because the buildings beside it were at a Chinese scale of 50 stories. The architecture was unsurprisingly like the photos. I almost wished that there were more surprises to discover, even though the cinema was rather pleasant to find, especially when this building did not scream ‘look at me’ like the other ones. Unfortunately, the linked hybrid does not work as a public square as the entrances are heavily guarded. The combination of residential blocks surrounding public-serving restaurants and a stand-alone cinema was a wild stab by an American architect trying to create publicness in a residential community. But how can you prevent gated communities when the definition of ‘good’ is exclusivity? On the other hand, however, maybe it is a look at what the definition of ‘public space’ is. People who lived in the linked hybrid obviously enjoyed the courtyards and water features. There were mums with babies hanging out on the bridges and couples taking strolls. That use of space is public to its residents, a feature that is common in almost all gated communities. There is a need for public space close to home, or in other words, public spaces that have their basis in residential quarters. Why would other people use these public spaces other than for commerial/entertainment uses? So the question becomes, why does the gated communities need to be public to everybody?

Chelsea Register Office for Wedding

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Went to the Kensington and Chelsea Registration Office (street view here) today to look at their wedding venues in the Chelsea Old Town Hall (wedding images here). There are four rooms for booking. In order of their size: interview room, Harington Room, Rosetti Room and Brydon Room (Borough’s wedding brochure here). In addition, there is a waiting room for guests, bridal powder room and access to the street facade entrance where guests can throw flowers.

Currently, the available dates for the interview room from May to September are: none in May, 26th June, 10th July, 11th, 18th, 25th September. The Harington Room has loads of availability (e.g. 4th, 8th, 9th, 11th, 15th… August).

Compared to the one in Woolwich (Town Hall):

The interior in Woolwich town hall is simply amazing. When you enter, there is a grand hall that looks spectacular. You then go to either the interview room or the Edwardian Room and do the ceremony there. There is however, no changing room for the brides in this hall. The guests will wait in the above photoed hall.

I guess our decision is that we will do the wedding registration in Chelsea, mostly because after the registration ceremony we can head to a romantic restaurant, currently set at the Ivy at Chelsea Gardens, for breakfast (since the ceremony starts at 9.15am on Monday in the interview room). There aren’t many options like that in Woolwich, unfortunately.

Adventures in East London: Thrift Shops

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Went to a few thrift/charity stores today:

  1. Vintage bric-a-brac shop North of Rokit, Shoreditch
  2. Rokit, Shoreditch
  3. Retromania, Pimlico
  4. Fara, Pimlico
  5. Oxfam, Pimlico
  6. Trinity Hospice, Pimlico
  7. Sue Ryder (was closed), Pimlico
  8. Hospices of Hope, Pimlico
  9. Boutique, Pimlico

The best I will have to say is Retromania, there was an entire floor at the basement with clothes on sale. These are like £5/10 leather jackets. Although some have bits damaged, they are still overall great items. Altogether I might have spent less than 30 mins in Shoreditch and 2 hours in Pimlico shops.