Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Allington House, 150 Victoria Street SW1

The old Allington House was a dull commercial office block enlivened by these endangered species by San Francisco-based Barry Baldwin, so it was very ironic when they came near to extinction themselves when it was demolished by developer Land Securities.
The excellent Peter Berthoud, London guide and blogger, mounted a campaign to save them and at the last minute the developer decided to remove them for future use rather than just prizing them off the wall and dumping them in a skip.
The building was only put up in 1997. I have to confess that I'm not a big fan of Baldwin's work. It is a bit coarse and literal and poorly-composed for me. But it is good they are saved.
Baldwin's only other work in London is the series of heads and an arch with more animals at Grand Buildings in Trafalgar Square. And who commissioned Barry to execute them? Land Securities!

1 comment:

Capability Bowes said...

Personally, I've always found these sculptures really naff. Still, at least they are better than his human heads nearby, which are unspeakably poor.

Standards in public art seem to have taken a real nosedive in the last 20 years. Look at that hideous "Meeting place" statue outside (?)Kings Cross.

I don't expect that anyone else will agree with me, but there you go.