A 1960s cinema has been saved from eternal darkness, but Jack Pringle’s vinyl collection of the same era has been less fortunate. Meanwhile, David Hockney is trying to cheer us all up with a digital sunrise
Now he’s in business with them, I wonder if Jack Pringle will ask his daughters for his record collection back? “They’ve stolen it,” the former RIBA president says in between reeling off a list of 1960s faves, including the Who and Jimi Hendrix. “Great times,” he adds. But I thought that if you remembered the 1960s, you weren’t really there …
On the road
Spotted! A traffic jam in the City. Mace’s head of fit-out, Stewart Ward, didn’t quite throw his hat into the air and break into cartwheels when he saw the queue on his way to work in Moorgate the other week but for those who ventured into the Square Mile last autumn and earlier this year – when it was dead – as green shoots go it is a cause for celebration. We’ll know the recovery is definitely on when cabbies and bus drivers start cutting each other up.
Rethinking design (kids’ edition)
Staying with the Square Mile, on a trip to Bishopsgate during the recent bank holiday weekend my hack overheard a young family comparing the Gherkin with the Cheesegrater. “I like the Gherkin because you can slide on it,” one little boy said. “The Cheesegrater has got lots of curly cheese.” It might not be quite what they had in mind but architects Norman Foster and Richard Rogers must be pleased to have fired the imagination.
Money for Old Oak
Thank god for HS2. The project is a lifeline for many in the industry, this time for those hard-pressed people who put up signs. The eagle-eyed may have spotted that the Balfour Beatty team building the station at Old Oak Common in west London is advertising a £250,000 contract to do just that. “It is important to have a consistent look of signage across the site, as well as consistent branding,” the tender says. Consistent looks and branding? A sign of the times, I suppose.
‘I like the Gherkin because you can slide on it,’ one little boy said. ‘The Cheesegrater has got lots of curly cheese’
Every Lidl helps (not)
John Lennon and George Harrison weren’t the only famous Liverpudlians who used to frequent the Abbey Cinema in Wavertree, it turns out. The curvy art deco picture palace was saved from the wrecking ball at the eleventh hour last month when it was given a grade II listing following a campaign by Save Britain’s Heritage. Lidl had wanted to knock it down and replace it with a supermarket but opponents, not unreasonably, argued this was unnecessary because the 1930s building had been functioning since 1979 as … a supermarket. The Beatles immortalised the cinema in the song In My Life, and Paul Monaghan, a director at architect AHMM, tweeted in response to the listing: “This is the first cinema I went to in the late sixties and the film was Chitty Chitty Bang Bang! These old cinemas are so hard to convert into something meaningful but it would have been tragic to knock it down to build a bland Lidl store.” Bang on.
Morgan Sindall boss John Morgan, who turns 66 at the end of December, was asked if he was planning to step down after a £13m share sale last month prompted speculation about his future. “I have no intention,” he told my hack. “As long as people want me to do it, I will carry on.” Given the firm has just revised upwards the amount of money it expects to make this year to more than £100m – a company first – it would seem Morgan, whose remaining stake in the business is worth around £75m, will be here for a bit longer yet.
Artist David Hockney has created a digital sunrise for the advertising hoardings that frame London’s Piccadilly Circus. The image is showing every night this month, as well as four other cities including New York and Tokyo, and the blurb says the “animated sunrise offers a powerful symbol of hope and collaboration as many parts of the world awaken from lockdown”. I’m not sure the title of the video is that cheery, mind. It’s called “Remember you cannot look at the sun or death for very long”.
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