Alex Soojung-Kim Pang, Ph.D.

I study people, technology, and the worlds they make

Burn baby burn– well, not quite

When I first went to London in 1989, I was surprised at how much of the city dated from the 1960s, rather than the 1690s. Of course, all cities are regularly rebuilt, but I thought that there’d be more material history in a city that was so rich in history. And while there’s some pretty serious modern architecture in London, a lot of it was bad New Brutalist (I still remembered a lot from David Brownlee’s magnificent courses on modern architecture that I took in college).

Modern architecture has been the subject of controversy in London at least since Prince Charles’ attacks on its legacy. Now, the New York Times


  1. My home town, Bristol (UK), is considering a similar thing after conducting public consultation about tall buildings.

    I agree with your sentiments, but perhaps there ought to be a ‘cooling off’ period of a number of years between the opening of the building and the first date from which a building can have such a ‘worthy of destruction’ order. As you suggest, some buildings grow on us over time.

  2. Also, as a slightly less relevent side note, Bristol city centre is about to become one of the largest wireless hotspots in Europe.

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