Thursday, 8 October 2009
PHOENIX PLACE, BASILDON, ESSEX BY DOVETAIL ARCHITECTS
It's quite an amazing feat to make a building that has so complete a lack of texture that it looks like the windows are drawn on to the facades. This is curtain walling at its most bland, taking the building beyond bad into the realms of the hyper-real.
Dovetail (?!) Architects seem to be bad at bits of buildings that need to stick out, so they do as few as possible.
The ones they do do are great. I'm really digging the 'giant eyebrow' motif at the top of the entrance tower, together with the robotic quiff of the roof itself. And, in particular, the tiny little entrance canopy, which gets its own gutter and two (count 'em) downpipes. Do it's a bit like a classical portico. With a bit of sheet steel and some downpipes.