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A Christmas double bill Monday, December 8 at 7.30pm A fun picture quiz on the big screen and a short talk by the Women’s Research Group who produce books on local people and businesses Mulled Wine and mince pies

Like them or loathe them iconic buildings are important to any town or city. They not only provide interesting, even controversial architecture, but also help to make a place different from the others. Having just returned from a stay in Barcelona, a city famed for its ground-breaking buildings, it set me thinking about the dubious future for some of our own iconic architecture. In particular our Central Swimming Baths and Sports Centre. In Barcelona there are many examples of unusual buildings including works by world famous architect Antoni Gaudi. Barcelona’s Design Museum (pictured below), created by David Mackay (MBM

December 2014

steel trees among the produce stands hold the roof up. On one of the main shopping streets is Casa Batlló, (pictured below) one of the strangest residential buildings in Europe. The balconies look like the bony jaws of some strange beast and the roof represents St George and the dragon. Yes, it’s the work of Antoni Gaudi and interestingly it’s a refurbishment that was Architects) sits next to Jean Nouvelle’s controversial Agbar Tower. The Hub was tied to an existing building shell. only allowed a small footprint with much By the time the Olympic bid had been won in 1986 design and architecture had of the building underground. become the top consideration in MBM was also chosen to design Port Barcelona. Keith Draper Olympic, a fascinating series of modern designs with the latticework ‘Fish Sculpture’ at its heart. Mercat de Santa Caterina (pictured above) is next to the central Gothic Quarter with its 13th century cathedral. This produce market, completed in 2005, has a multi-coloured ceramic roof with a ceiling made of warm, light wood. Twisting slender branches of what look like grey

Design awards are back on our agenda as a new competition is launched with communities across England being invited to enter the inaugural ‘Civic Voice National Community Design Award”. Civic Voice, is asking us to nominate buildings and schemes considered to make a significant contribution to the quality of our built environment, whether village, town or city. Nominations for projects will be considered that are examples of: New buildings or historic buildings that have been reused or refurbished; Public realm schemes such as street works; Conservation area improvements, parks, improvements and enhancements of the civic realm. The Civic Voice National Design Award is a new award for 2015 and the inaugural winner will be announced at a ceremony hosted by Civic Voice president, Griff Rhys Jones. The award will be a celebration of good design – a kite mark to

be recognised by community groups, professionals and local government alike. The award will also be unique – it will not be an award where professionals give an award to the work of other professionals. Instead, the nominations will be made and supported by local communities across the country. Nominations can be made by civic societies or other local community organisations for projects they consider make a significant contribution to the quality of their built environment. The projects must have been completed between January 1, 2013 and December 31, 2014. Is there a building or project in Coventry that you would like the Coventry Society to put forward? If so, then send an email or letter to any member of the committee and we will consider your suggestion. The closing date for applications is March 31, 2015, but please let us have your suggestions as soon as possible. There is more information at: http://www.civicvoice.org.uk/ uploads/files/Design_Award_v3.pdf

More news and views on our website: www.coventrysociety.org.uk

46 december 2014  

The December 2014 edition of the Coventry Society newsletter.

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