Glass and steel

Bush and grass;
Nomadic units.
Mud and thatch;
A season’s shelter.
Timber, wattle and daub;
A whole community.
Stone and flint and brick,
Lots of brick and stone;
Built to last;
A permanence:
Solidity, reliability
Cities and government
Confirmation of continuity
Substance, dependability.

Cold steel;
Reflective, shiny
Repellant
Outward gloss;
Hard.
And glass
All revealing
Transparent glass.
Windows to the outside
Portals to the inside.
Transparency and truth
Everyone can see;
Everything.

 Words , poem and photo copyright Englepip©

The last few decades have seen a new architecture throughout the world. There is a change in style and feeling and I wanted to express how our architecture says a lot about us socially. This is a picture of Basingstoke, once a small market town evolving into a commercial hub – the place where Burberrys were invented in a small retailers; where Eli Lilly and Smiths industries and Lansing Bagnall led the way; where the Automobile Association still is based in what was until recently the tallest building between Hampshire and America; where the bank note printers De La Rue still has its headquarters on the edge of town. But as we move away from industry and manufacturing, – this is on the edge of the Uk’s silicon valley – to ethernet and internet and the need to face each other and work together physically, so architecture has changed. From solid stone with a ‘built to last’ feel, we have moved to glass and steel. Does it represent the unforgivingness of the working environment today? Does the transparency of glass mean that – yes we can see you are not hiding things but that you are being watched all the time? Does the brittleness of glass reflect the ease with which our individual worlds can be smashed and broken?

London (architecture old and new)

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I scan the horizon and wonder

Which building will today

Dominate the skyline.

Vying for height, shape and spectacle

They rise, in London, to the sky:

Above the smog.

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2003, The Gherkin: rocket or vegetable?

Love it or hate it: amusing cuteness.

2014, Walkie Talkie leaning tower,  

Sky garden overhang

TV screening a view of the rest.

But 2012 was The Shard.

Aloof, a proud spike: icicle upended.

Taller than the rest.

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Should we revere these pinnacles of modernity? 

In a world moving onwards and definitely upwards.

Or look back to Wren, St Paul’s sublime dome

From the east obliterated now by steel and glass.

 

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Should we recreate the romance of the past

Shakespeare’s and Wanamaker’s Globe

Reliving nightly the fifteenth century

In the twenty first?

 

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Defend, promote, revive,

Preserve, destroy, reuse?

Infil, demolish, redesign.

 

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Architecture:

A spirit of each age.

What will it bring tomorrow?

 

Photos and wording copyright Englepip©

 

via Daily Prompt: Dominant

Daily Prompt: Old versus New

shard at night

I used to prefer the old to the new

Classics over modernists

St Paul’s to the Shard.

I used to believe

Things should stay as they were

We should never move on

That change should be barred.

But then now became past

And your love slipped away

I  knew that you’d changed

And that I could not stay.

So now I look at the world

Through different eyes

New is the preference

I tend to prioritise.

For the world’s ever changing

What’s gone can’t return

A new future is beckoning

From the past I have learned.

 

Photo of the South Bank of the River Thames, London, showing the modern architecture, including the Thames. Poem and photo Copyright Englepip ©

 

via Daily Prompt: Prefer