One for architecture buffs during Design Week: Koto Bolofo’s photo exhibition at 34 Cork Street. ‘Construction Sight’ shows Bolofo’s documenting of the transformation of the Commonwealth Institute into the Design Museum (which is moving from Shad Thames to Kensington High Street in November). The 1962 Grade II-listed building is special to me as I went past it every day for six years on my way to school. It’s at the entrance to Holland Park, which is also one of the loveliest parks in London, especially in summer. And on a completely selfish note, I’m so glad not to have to trek south to visit the Design Museum any more, the new site is so much closer to home 😝.
The building has been completely redesigned by John Pawson and as expected, there’s huge anticipation around its reopening. Unfortunately, the site is slightly obliterated by fancy flats that have appeared where the flag poles used to stand. That’s a shame as they could have had something more interesting to lead up to the entrance of the museum. On the other hand, I’m thrilled to discover there will be a Conran-owned cafe and restaurant with views over the park. Kensington High Street just got interesting again.
Bolofo talks about photographing the building (his first foray into architectural photography) to Wallpaper magazine here, and says, “I was doing 8-12 second exposures, which I’d never done before, so I wasn’t even sure the pictures were going to come out… I fell in love with the building. I photographed it like I would photograph a woman – for me, it had so much femininity. The lines, the curves, there is absolutely nothing masculine about it.”
Construction Sight is at 34 Cork Street, Mayfair, W1S 3NU until 24th September (10am-6pm)
WORDS: Disneyrollergirl/Navaz Batliwalla
IMAGE: Koto Bolofo
NOTE: Some posts use affiliate links and PR samples. Please read my cookies policy here
Ahhh, Regent Street, the legendary John Nash-designed crescent that leads to Piccadilly Circus. It’s as English as tea at Fortnum’s and yet, times are slowly a-changing. Stroll along south of Oxford Circus and you can’t miss the imposing hoardings for Coach, Michael Kors and Polo Ralph Lauren, the American megabrands about to take up residence this summer. (more…)
Don’t go thinking Dover Street Market is the only fashion store that’s pitching its tent in Haymarket. Joining it this summer is Jigsaw, which has a new 1000 sq ft flagship opening to house its menswear, womenswear and The Shop at Bluebird concept store. A joint venture between London’s Crown Estate and Canadian firm Oxford Properties, the shopping destination dubbed ‘St James’s Market’ (below) will transform two historic blocks near Haymarket into five flagship stores, plus office spaces and a public square. (more…)
In the battle between bricks and clicks, the high street has suffered, but department stores have done well to up their game. They have become nimble at keeping pace with fashion, worked harder to collaborate with brands on pop-ups and events, and just seem more dynamic places to be. It’s something the rest of the high street can learn lessons from and I’m already seeing its influence.
Covent Garden got the memo some time ago. OK, it’s not quite a high street but it’s a shopping district that misplaced its mojo for a while and has since redeemed itself. In the 80s it was incredibly stylish and vibrant. At its peak, London’s cool set gravitated towards the Meccas of Paul Smith, Jones and thrift emporium Flip. (more…)