Saturday, 25 April 2009

Albert Embankment SE1

Just along from Lambeth Palace, the Archbishop of Canterbury's London pad, a ship sails majestically out of a 1970s office block straight into the traffic on Albert Embankment.
The offices are those of the International Maritime Organisation, built in 1977 by Douglas Marriott, Worby & Robinson. The fad for faceted bronze-coloured cladding was at its height then.
The ship's bow was added in 2001 as "the international memorial to the world's seafarers, past, present and future". It is by Michael Sandle, who was also responsible for the Memorial for the Victims of a Helicopter Disaster, Mannheim (1985) and the Malta Seige Memorial (1989), a 13 ton bronze bell.The Seafarers Memorial is rather poignant with the seaman on the bow, exposed and alone, secured by an oh-so-thin safety line to the mast behind him. Unfortunately, the dedication to all seafarers over all time dilutes the sentiment so far as to make it almost meaningless.

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