Des Lynam analyses the performance of two very different domes – and as usual, Italy scores big points while England gets a red card …
St Peter’s in Rome is my wonder. I’ve visited it a good few times and have always loved being there. It was built over many years in a horse and cart age when they had no machinery as such to build it, and it’s masterpiece. I’ve climbed the 537 steps to the top of Michelangelo's dome, which is quite a climb, round and round and round – a sort of penance, if you like. I always get a feeling of serenity when I’m there. It brings me as close as I ever get to my god, and I just love the look of the place. St Peter’s Square is a marvellous place to be.
My least favourite building is the Dome in Docklands. It’s so unimaginative and has been a total waste of space, time and money. It’s not just because of the form of the building, but also because of its uselessness that I dislike it so much. The money could have been so much better spent. Hopefully with the Olympics coming to London it will find its use at long last.
St Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican City, Rome, was built between 1506 and 1626. Pope Paul III commissioned Michelangelo to design the dome in 1546 – only the drum was completed by the time of his death in 1564.
Designed by Richard Rogers Partnership, the Millennium Dome in Greenwich lay vacant after the Millennium celebrations until June this year, when work began on converting it into a 23,000-seat arena for music, entertainment and sports. It has been renamed the O2 Arena.
Should Have Been at Work! by Des Lynam is published by HarperCollins, £18.99.