Although I seemed to miss everything good at the Tate Modern on my recent London visit, there are still lots of features you can look at in the environs which are actually just as much fun. A colour changing lighting scheme for under a bridge on Southwark Street is one cool example. It hasn’t got a name but has been called “Smarties”, “Daleks” by Dr Who fans and “Bubble wrap.” As well as being very pretty it stops unwanted graffiti and bill posting and it also apparently prevents pigeons on it as they don’t like the coloured lights. How clever is that? It even acts as an informal clock with the lights slowly changing to solid colours on the hour and half hour. This could be handy when returning from a drunken night out I suppose when you can’t seem to focus on your watch very well.
Another nearby building in this increasingly desirable South London haunt is the Harlequin building, providing space age office space with more coloured lights which change colour (all at once this time) brightening up the dark street. Personally I can’t see much wrong in using coloured lighting to create warmth, interest and atmosphere in a cityscape. It’s like fairy lights all the year round. Although I did come across a ‘bah humbug’ comment on a local community website from someone calling themselves ‘Tolstoy’ perhaps indicating their own high opinion of themselves..
|Harlequin building – in the pink|
“The Harlequin theme might have worked if the colours were more bold and unique but they’re just a collection of washed out pastel shades reminiscent of a grannies purple rinse and those foul tasting violet mints. With apologies to grannies.” Tolstoy
I’ll bet he’s fun at parties. Anyway I love Parma Violets!
|Stick up for Violets!|
Opposite the Harlequin building is Vapianos – an Italian with a slightly different concept in that you get a swipe card as you enter when you order your own pasta or pizza thus avoiding bill splitting arguments. Next, your selection is cooked to order while you watch. It’s not rocket science but the interior is very cool and contemporary with lots of fresh herbs growing about the place (you can put them on your dinner if you want) It’s a new twist on an old favourite. Slide down to the Southbank and check it out.
|View from Vapianos|
|Suits me Sir|