Sunday, 23 January 2011

Soixante Huit Cumbernauld

I previously mentioned 'Between Channels' putting up a series of photographs that they got hold of, but they've really upped the ante this time, with a series of photographs of the Cumbernauld Shopping Centre, award winning megastructure and Britain's most hated building.

I'm less concerned with the quality of the architecture as we all know that it's not a great building, for various reasons, but the photos are textbook 'h---------' (which god knows seems to have descended into endless bad-nostalgia for shitty witch-related tv programmes...), the grain, the bleached colours, the emptiness, the sense of futures past... They remind me of this set of photographs of then contemporary architecture, all pristine and yet faded.

Two things stick in my mind, however: one is this image of what looks like a stunning bookshop, with that now deeply unfashionable use of timber panelling:

And the other is this image from Iqbal Alam's collection of photos:

This shows the construction of the Cumbernauld Shopping Centre, and is perhaps as close to a genuine early Archigram structure you'll ever get.

1 comment:

MM Jones said...

Aside from the raw weather, the landscape around the structure contributes so much to the photograph's atmosphere. The empty field in the foreground, with the muddy puddles and yellow grass, the fencing. Adds to the sense that otherworldly presence of the building, like it landed from somewhere else (perhaps it walked there...)