Poundbury, unexpectedly, in the rain

poundburyview.jpg

I went to Poundbury yesterday, unexpectedly, and in the rain. Poundbury is Prince Charles’ new town – his personal architectural utopia. I thought I’d find a verbatim verncular, a remake of the Dorset towns that surround it. But actually it’s something far more difficult to pin down. Part historical fantasy, part business park – its as though Merchant Ivory had produced The Office. Its both radical and conservative – empty like a JG Ballard scene, wide like an American suburb, sharp like an axonometric drawing.

Here are a couple of oddities:

A Wobbly Kerb.
wonkykerb.jpg
Remember, this kerb line came from the pen of Leon Krier. Its an imperfection made perfect.

Cracked Render.
crackedrender.jpg
This isn’t quite so good, but its still odd. Here an element of ruin is designed into a new building – a point where the render skin has cracked away exposing the stone wall behind. Except here, the stone is infront of the render.

But there is also this fantastic building, which beats Portmerion at its own quirky-historicist-fantasist-narrative-game and beats it hands down.
thecastle.jpg

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