But so very sadly, this is where the love affair must end. I visited the site over the weekend for the very first time since construction began. Never have I been more sorely disappointed with a piece of architecture. Aside from the drum, which holds obvious - if popular - appeal, the building as a whole is the most spectacularly ugly concoction to land in the city since Robocop on Dame Street. It is so breath-takingly, staggeringly bad in real life as to make one wonder why the Emperor has no clothes. Is nobody else actually seeing this?! Really, get down there and have a look at what is unfolding before our eyes!
A gigantic, immensely arrogant, dusty pink, stone-clad leaden block, topped with swoopy parapets plucked from of the worst Miami beach residential architecture of the 1980s, barely punctuated by random, minimal flush bands of windows employed as postmodernist racing stripes. This host box for the poor unfortunate drum has translated so spectacularly badly from concept into real life (though it must be acknowledged a number of people here did point this out long before now), that it is nothing short of an embarrassment to the city as a supposedly prized civic building. At least Mansfield's stuff out on the M50 is shameless, even comforting, in its ignorance]
In a way i'm surprised at your surprise Graham ?
If ever a building lived up to its modelling & renders this is it. For me, the drum is the building, the rest really amounts to bland casing and i suppose there was no indication that it was ever going to be any different, though always a faint hope flickered that dusty pink would not be the chosen colour.
The unknown imo was whether the drum would be appropriately articulated throughout the interior, to be more than just a facade & elaborate stairwell, unfortunately it appears to be just that.
The other great disappointment is the relationship between it and its neighbour, pwc's hq arrogantly throws two fingers up at everything that surrounds it, I wouldn't mind so much if it amounted to more than office park drivel itself, pity it wouldn't continue its pompous march that bit further and fall in to the river, woops.
I don't want to be too negative, overall the drum is pretty impressive and makes a positive contribution to a river front that was crying out for something, anything!