A Community Network for Bowes Park and Bounds Green
There's an interesting discussion going on at Harringay Online about the ugliest buildings in the area. The Civic Centre seems to have a Marmite effect on people. What do you think about it?
I have cheekily borrowed this photo from portemolitor on Flickr as there weren't any in our own photos section (at least, that I could find).
I don't think it's ugly. In fact, I like the windows, the way they are variously broken up a bit like a Mondrian painting. It would look great with some coloured glass in the small bits (or coloured glass paint) The left hand side would look good with a mosaic down it reflecting the community, or a mural - is that a little balcony at the front? That would look good with some plants on it. I like the building. Maybe a nice coat of paint. Oh, and I also like the way the canopy at the front swerves upwards, a bit like the bow of a little ship. Just needs some tlc.
Hi Kathleen - yes it is a little balcony out front. I've never seen it used though. A few plants really would perk it up.
And I agree, I've always thought it looked a bit like a cruise liner or a submarine from the top.
On a related note, I popped inside it the other day and there was a disappointing lack of local info or celebration of Haringey in the reception. Just a bored receptionist/security guard and the feeling of a palm house.
I think it is a really interesting building that could look spectacular if a little money was spent on it. It is a good example of architecture of a certain time and Haringey has few examples. The inside stairway and hall is spectacular. I fear we may be being softened up to allow it to be knocked down and 'developed' to add to the mess that started with the demolition of Commerce Road and has continued ever since. The Police Station was also very lovely but the new proposal will just result in a visual mess.
I got a couple of close ups of the balcony over the weekend. Never noticed the coat of arms on it before, in fact I didn't know Wood Green had one. Wikipedia tells me this:
'A coat of arms was granted to the borough on incorporation. The shield featured yew trees and was supported by medieval archers, recalling that Wood Green had once been an area where archery was practised. A silver and blue stripe across the centre of the shield depicted the New River. The Latin motto was nostrum viret robur, which could be translated as our strength is a tree or more appropriately as Wood Green Flourishes.'
That's so interesting! Really a shame it isn't more colourful or noticeable! Haringey should get the paint out! And the motto is pretty wonderful in this era of ecological awareness (we can ignore the war bit [archery], I suppose and reclaim it for preservation!). thanks for that! Love those photos.
I came across this site from looking at Google we are a group of photographers that cover registry office weddings in the London boroughs, and if it's all right we like to make a comment, as you all know this is where Haringey Register Office can be found and we frequent the building say once a month, so we've come to know it. The building has merit, it's a fine example of the era it was designed for, however we've noticed when photographing it a few things let it down, for example the upper structure is the same colour and tonal range of the rectangular arch this reduces the impact. The bus stop detracts from the shape of the building, the sun blinds are generally all higgledy-piggledy. The weathering on the masonry will cost money to clean so won't moan about that. A colleague suggests trees that start by the road and physically go straight up inside the building, apparently similar to the Royal wedding (food for thought!)... yes feature plants on the balcony could be good alas someone's got to water them, and we've seen other boroughs town and civic halls with shriveled window boxes. One other thing photographers like is good use of lighting, I know it costs money but the arch could be an amazing illuminated feature maybe in orange. We would refer to this building as a classic modern installation and requires a helpful cost-effective touch of class. Phew! better get of our hobbyhorse! Best regards
I think it's a fine building and a great example of 1930s architecture. However, I do think it would benefit from a little more love, care and attention.
I love the building - as people have said its a great example of the time. Its simple and clean looking and has aged very well. I think Joys idea to improve it with some imaginative landscaping is excellent. Maybe someone should send the council the suggestion.
Are people aware that Haringey Council intended to demolish this building and sell for redevelopment just before the Iceland crash three or four years ago? Haringey proposed building a new council chamber on the back of Woodside House and asphalting a fifth of the green space for car parking. The Friends of Woodside Park were naturally opposed to this but the plans were shelved when the council lost 12 million pounds invested in Iceland and could no longer justify the expense. There is no reason not to expect that they might resurface again at some later stage, however. Watch that space!
We should definitely watch that space. Sounds like a waste of our money to replace that lovely building.
We were at the Registry Office on Wednesday , it was sunny day so captured some cobalt blue sky above. PS some more items to move ... the ugly air-conditioning units, the unnecessary one-way signs, the plaque on arch wall and move the main sign on left hand side, as it stops the flow of the arch down to the ground..... aaah back to work now..