CJ Lim homage to Heath Robinson

Sky Transport for London

CJ Lim, experimental architect and Director of International Development at the Bartlett School of Architectre, has created ‘Sky Transport for London’, commissioned by BBC Radio 4, in homage to the work of Heath Robinson, and to coincide with an exhibition about Robinson at the Cartoon Museum in London.

“ ‘Sky Transport for London’ seeks to reconfigure London Underground’s Circle Line, by lifting the footprint of its tracks eighty metres above ground as a continuous ‘sky-river’ flowing through the great metropolis,” he explains. “In this scenario, long, narrow boats, usually with a crew of twenty-two, would traverse the urban sky-river. It would alleviate some of the ground-level traffic congestion, while offering a low-carbon, environmentally efficient way for employees to get to and from work as well as catch up on some much needed exercise. Apart from the daily commute, this system would play host to an annual race in the tradition of the dragon boat festival, pitting teams taken from London’s boroughs in races across the city on the fifth day of the fifth month.”

Lim compare the experimental nature of the Bartlett to Heath Robinson's work:

"Heath Robinson’s wildly inventive propositions – that do not always quite go to plan – also summarise for CJ the spirit of the Bartlett: “We are architectural inventors at the Bartlett. Sometimes our bold avant-garde proposals share a similar fate to Robinson’s but they are always powerful enough to spark off other ideas and creative conversations.” "

The exhibition Heath Robinson's Helpful Solutions is on until 7th October at the Cartoon Museum, 35 Little Russell Street, London.

More on the CJ Lim and Heath Robinson to follow, inevitably.

Sunnydale trailer park



Awesome wallpaper design from David Monsen, called Sunnydale, and inspired by watching too much Buffy the Vampire Slayer. This would make a brilliant font. I'm compiling a list of urban/architectural fonts so any suggestions would be gratefully received.

[Via Wallpaper magazine, which seems to be returning to form, and the website is well worth a visit too.]

The London Array

London Array

London Array

Just been given the go-ahead is the world's largest off-shore windfarm, to be constructed in the Thames Estuary.

The London Array, when completed, is expected to generate enough electricity for a quarter of all the homes in Greater London. Postioned 20 km off the Kent coastline, it will consist of up to 271 turbines.

The only issue now is to stop the Nimby's who don't want the onshore substation anywhere near them.

This is not architecture


Inspired by the rant at BldgBlog about architectureal criticism, here are some more things that may or not be architecture:

Projections and illuminated signage, translucent materials, desert land art, graffiti and stencil art, The Incredibles, Lego, SketchUp, Google Earth, Google Maps, Iain Sinclair books, psychogeography, Neuromancer, billboards, mega-projects, the works of Paul Virilio, disurbanism, Judge Dredd - the boardgame, Sim City, Mikhail Okhitovich, Established & Sons, Mir space station, post-urbanism, The Fountainhead, Apple computer, giant squid and other cephalopods, Baikonur/Kosmograd, 'elephant cage' listening posts, exurbia, Maunsell towers, Chek Lap Kok Airport, Blade Runner, Times Square at night, War in the Age of Intelligent Machines, the work of Italo Calvino, garden centers, garden cities, Sealand, Kathryn Gustafson's Diana, Princess of Wales memorial fountain, the work of Martha Schwartz, situationism, the work of Adriaan Geuze and West8, The Swimmer, Prada, the M25, Starbucks' "the third place", Tesco's, Poundbury, origami, topology, suburban sprawl, big-box reuse, moons of Saturn, green-belt, pop surrealism, brownfield sites, Thames Gateway, Wipeout 2097, airport car-parks, Broadacre City, shipping container architecture, Wembley Stadium, the Olympic Games, the Millau Viaduct bridge.

You could also take this to be a pretty good depth of field for Kosmograd over the coming months.

[Image is cover of Envane by Autechre, just because, really.]

[first posted May 22, 2006]


Six reasons why London rocks in 2006

Le Corbusier

Need reasons why London is the best city in the world right now? Here are six of them.

Pixar: 20 Years of Animation Science Museum
until 10th June

Olivo Barbieri, Site Specific Blloomberg Space, Finsbury Square, London
until 20th May
More info and review at: Metro, Metropolis, Guardian.

The Tragic Genius of Joseph Michael Gandy John Soane House, Lincoln's Inn Fields
until 12th August
More info and review at: Guardian, Observer

Jacob van Ruisdael: Master of Landscape Royal Academy
until 4th June
Reviews from: Observer

Modernism: Designing a new world 1914-1939 V&A
until 23rd July 2006
Raging debate across the pages of the Guardian: Robert Hughes serves, Simon Jenkins volleys, and Deyan Sudjic returns

Michaelangelo Drawings: Closer to the Master British Museum
until 25th June
Guardian review

Field reports from the frontlines of culture to follow.
[First posted April 21, 2006]