Whitsun action

Ice Cream On Hand
Picture by (yet again) “eat at joe’s”

Some juxtapositions of temporary and permanent at the annual Whit Fair in the centre of Preston. Pericles is safe in his pediment. See the same event in 1930 via the link below (may require Real Player or somesuch i.e. the BBC don’t do QuickTime):

LINK to film of the same event and location in 1930

The same location in the ‘fifties with the partially demolished town hall to the side of the square:

harris & flag market

See also: Appearing Rooms

Alvaro Siza in Evora



Further to the recent post about James Stirling’s housing in Runcorn we present these images of Alvaro Siza’s project for housing in Quinta da Malagueira outside the ancient city of Evora. Begun in 1977, the neighbourhood is an immediate product of the revolution of the carnations in 1974 and the work of SAAL. The morphology of the original Roman settlement is continued through the design of 1200 low-cost, single family units, with arcades to the public areas. Harvard University Graduate School of Design recognised the design with the award in 1988 of the Prince of Wales Prize.



MSA Fieldtrip Films also features the work of Siza in the very different context of Berlin with the ‘Bonjour Tristesse’ project for the IBA.


Professor Sir Colin St. John Wilson RA 1922-2007

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Continuity in Architecture was saddened to hear of the death of ‘Sandy’ Wilson, a major figure in British architecture and architectural education in the second half of the twentieth century. A memory which has survived the passing of the years is that of a kind mentor and his professorial office dominated by a large Patrick Caulfield painting.The obituaries in the major British newspapers linked below refer to his professional life especially as architect of the British Library, and his collection of contemporary art which was donated to the Pallant House Gallery in Chichester. The photographs show an early work, the extension to the Cambridge School of Architecture, a small demonstration of Corbusian brutalism and the scene of the first airings of Wilson’s ruminations on architectural theory published in ‘Architectural Reflections’ and ‘The Other Tradition of Modern Architecture’. Less intellectual memories of the extension include a Halloween party in ‘The Pit’ (alas, sans its original built-in concrete coffee table) where Dalibor Vesely was seen grooving in a ‘Starsky & Hutch’ style wrap-over belted cardigan, while the lecture theatre itself was the venue for the 1978 Christmas Revue ‘Waiting for Wilson’, (a Beckettian homage to the often necessarily absent professor) which ended on a rousing rendition of the contemporaneous John Travolta hit ‘Sandy’ from the soundtrack of ‘Grease’.

The Times
The Guardian
The Daily Telegraph
The Independent

Quite a big weekend

Looville - Moor Park Preston

Preston is the centre of the pop-musical world this weekend. It’s the biggest event in the town/city since, well, last Preston Guild. The View, The Scissor Sisters, Razorlight, Kasabian, LCD Sound System…(full line-up) are all bringing their cutting-edge/reminiscentoftheseventies sounds to a fenced enclosure that has been constructed on Moor Park for Radio 1’s ‘Big Weekend’.

Wikipedia says: “Created in 1833-35, the park is reputed to be the first in which the inalienable right of public access was assured. Moor Park is Preston’s largest and oldest park and was originally common land derived from the Royal Forest of Fulwood by the Charter of Henry III of England in 1235. It was one of the first public parks in the country.” Claiming to be “first” may or may not be true but smacks of Manchester-style boosterism so we’ll refuse to be impressed.

Now, has Alex Davis got any spare tickets?

Picture by “eat at joe’s”

Preston Found

Postscript: If you haven’t got a ticket this is for you.

Really Big Windows

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Continuity in Architecture direct you to an article published in this week’s Architects Journal that is co-authored by lecturers from the college. Eamonn Canniffe and Sally Stone discuss the new terrace of social housing designed by dMFK Architects in New Islington, Manchester. It is only the second complex of housing to be completed in the area (after FAT’s gabled courtyard houses), but work on Will Alsop’s master plan for Urban Splash is moving fast. Much of the infrastructure is in place and the foundations of the infamous “Chips” building have, I believe, been laid.

From the bottom drawer


I found these photographs (taken c.1988?) in the bottom of a plan chest drawer. They show James Stirling’s Runcorn Housing which was designed in 1967, built 1970-1977 and demolished in 1990. Read what Stirling had to say about the original brief for the project and the subsequent decision to demolish: Link to article in Building Design.


James Stirling 22 April 1926 – 25 June 1992