BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

On a bike, riding somewhere. Every day, rain or shine.

Posts tagged ‘modernism’

#365daysofbiking Down amongst the derelict

Monday November 30th 2020 – The weather remained bad, and heading home late up Brownhills High Street, I stopped to check a text, and then looked to my left.

Ravens Court was never a success. Opened in 1964, this dystopian, anonymous shopping precinct was mostly empty until 1970. It enjoyed a period of being mostly fully let for about 15 years, then it began to go to seed. A failed development by Tesco and its acquisition by property speculators sealed the fate of this dingy, concrete shopping parade. It’s owners never re-let the vacated shops and for the best part of a decade it’s been deserted and decaying, right in the heart of Brownhills.

It’s shape as a plot is bad. It’s on a pronounced gradient. There’s a lot of demolition to do. The site is unattractive, and this is not a time for retail investment.

In private ownership, the council are powerless to duo anything, much, and to the town’s frustration, we are left with this rotting monument to opportunist modernism.

Hopefully something will change here, soon. But I’m not optimistic.

from Tumblr

#365daysofbiking Here, there and everywhere

February 27th – The Peter Saville thing. It’s everywhere of late.

Later the same day. The rain didn’t stop, it doubled down and rained harder and more fiercely.

Stood, dripping, waiting for a late train at Telford, the rain shimmering on the glass of the new bridge, catching the lights. The angles and patterns of metalwork.

It felt brutal, if not actually truly Brutalist.

Find out more about why I’m in love with Peter Saville’s work here.

This journal is moving home. Find out more by clicking here

from Tumblr

April 15th – I had a late meeting in Birmingham, and the weather was grey and wet. Unusually, though, this didn’t dampen my enthusiasm for the city, which never looks good on a grey day. Finishing my task, I went for a mooch around the city centre and spotted this brutalist gem hiding in plain sight in New Street. 

Architecturally, it seems a mix of brutalism and a kind of stilted, controlled art deco. I have a feeling it’s more modern than it’s appearance belies.

Does anyone know anything about it or who the architect was? It’s quietly stunning.