Welcome to Jones Blogs, where Nick Jones will guide you through the outer limits of the blogosphere. This week, he hunts down web diarists' views on the London architecture biennale
Search terms: London + architecture + biennale
"This monument to the God of Fertility is being denigrated because of a combination of Brit prudishness and our loathing for the Gnomes of Zurich. I mean, how dare these bloody gnomes stick their rude phallus into our skyline!"
Coxsoft (coxsoft.blogspot.com) was one of several bloggers this week rallying to the defence of the Swiss Re headquarters - although not all were so wound up by its shape and the nationality of its owner.
The hackles of the internet hordes had been raised by www.bbc.co.uk/london which ran a poll at the start of biennale week to find the most hated buildings in London - a fine way to kick off any celebration of the capital's architecture. The five-strong shortlist included Centre Point, the Swiss Re tower, the South Bank Centre, the Tower hotel next to Tower Bridge and "the tower at Colliers Wood", which is so ugly that it's had its name confiscated.
The Londonist (www.londonist.com) seemed to agree that Lord Foster's City pad had been treated a little harshly. "The Gherkin? Who bloomin' compiled the poll? Are they mad, or just stupid, or Prince Charles?" ranted a blogger going by the name of Sunshine.
For Gherkin haters, www.realoasis.net offered memories of better times. This "garden design, landscaping and property" blog was recommending a salvage fair deep in the wilds of Hertfordshire where you can buy chunks of the marble-clad Baltic Exchange - the previous occupant of 30 St Mary Axe. The stand to look for is called, intriguingly, Extreme Architecture of Kent, so be prepared to talk angrily about the lack of ziggurats on the Ashford skyline in order to secure your bit of Baltic.
In other biennale blogging, b2architecture.blogspot.com ("Irreverent opinion on architecture"), seemed confused by the inclusion on this year's itinerary of "the world's biggest Pecha Kucha". A quick browse told me that a) a Pecha Kucha is not a big German cake, and b) it is "like an Offsite on steroids" (www.core77.com). As I would have needed to search again to find out what an Offsite was, I settled for Chittahchattah's definition of Pecha Kucha: "A Japanese term that roughly translates as chit-chat, or perhaps as irritating chatter" (chittahchattah.blogspot.com). In other words, a networking event. Among those "chattering" at Sadler's Wells on Sunday will be Thomas Heatherwick, FAT Architects and Amanda Levete. I'm sure all irritation will be kept to a minimum.
Although these people all have valid opinions, I'm going to give the last word on London's architecture to backpacker Aaron, (faithnotsight57.blogspot.com), fresh off the plane from California."I'm freakin' exhausted! Jet-lag sucks! I didn't get much sleep on the plane so it feels like the same day … but reeeally long! I haven't seen that much of London yet, but what I have seen has been pretty cool. Hmmm … where should I begin. Big Ben is HUGE."
If only the BBC was so enthusiastic.