Wednesday 4 May 2011

Painted on glass

Floating like clouds in last week's sunshine: a neighbouring building reflected in the beautiful glass cylinder built in recent years over the entrance to the crypt at St Martin-in-the-Fields church in Trafalgar Square, which houses both a public restaurant and St Martin's well known day and residential services for homeless people. As well as the glass-cylinder entrance, the renewal works created a large open circular well next to the church and above the crypt, bringing light and air into the lower level. Engraved around the ballustrade of the lightwell is a poem by Andrew Motion, who was Poet Laureate when the new buildings were opened. It's heartlifting to see new architecture that is beautiful and inspiring and enhances old buildings both practically and aesthetically. The new projects I admire nearly always involve whole walls of glass, bringing daylight inside, and outside reflecting surrounding nature or historic buildings - truly a magical power of modern construction technologies. Far too few like this, of course.

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