Thursday, 22 June 2017

The Work Experience Kid's UFO Lift Motor Room

So I am clambering over a roof at my local Council building, and I suddenly see this thing.  It has unworldly scales, an access ladder, and zero connection with any adjacent surface.  It floats over the roof like a UFO, like something out of a Doctor Who episode (Given it's part of an 80's brutalist extension to a 19302 artdeco town hall, I am going to say Doctor IV.)

So what is it?  Cladding for a roof mounted water-cooled A/C system?  An early example of pod office group-team-workspace? A refuge for the burdened maintenance contractor?

It's a lift motor room.  And so here I celebrate the original architects of this building.  It is generally an unbalanced lump of a thing, full of slavish references to the 1936 town hall building, destroyed with curtain-wall smoked glass connections and a no sense of entry.

But the lift motor room is a gem.  I can see the scene in the architects office as the work experience kid is given the job of designed something that no one will ever see.

"Just give me a cladding for this thing, junior, and make it match the rest of the building"

"Sure boss."

There are some whooshing noises in the studio, some clangity-clang sound effects, and there it is.  A students folly, a jewel stuck on the top of a pile of random materials.  Tiled wall, recessed entry and a shadowline-connection perfectly scaled to the rest of the roof.


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