City of Sound is about cities, design, architecture, music, media, politics and more. Written by Dan Hill since 2001.

Wednesday May 19th, London

Written in


Up at 0330am to give a presentation by mobile phone in Melbourne, which is quite one of the oddest things I've had to do recently. Sitting in my hotel room with the sun slowly rising over sleeping London outside the window, my voice was bounced by satellites around the world until i was represented by a speaker phone in a council office in outer suburban Melbourne, where my colleague was slowly moving forward through a PDF I'd prepared, synchronised (roughly) with my copy in London. 


Odder still, it seemed to work well. But I do not wish to set a precedent.

Breakfast at Princi in Soho, a fabulous place, the Italian leg of Alan Yau's culinary equivalent of Sufjan Stevens 50 States project, after Wagamama and Busaba. Meeting another tranche of friends here, one of whom points out a wonderful new insertion into the dead ends just off Oxford St, the new headquarters of Japanese ad agency Dentsu (who almost run Japan, so it's a little odd just to say 'ad agency'). A glorious ribbed metal facade, with a glass and chain mail skirt, it's a beautiful piece of work, and I hadn't seen info about it anywhere. Right next to Future Systems' lovely facade, which is actually on Oxford St, it lends this little corner a highly unlikely concentration of contemporary architectural interest. (I later discover it's by Amanda Levete Architects, which then makes perfect sensemore shots and a review of sorts here.)

Foreign Office facade

Amanda Levete facade

Then work, then a quick trip down the Magnificent Maps exhibition at the British Library with my fellow visiting Australian Arup colleague Andrew Maher (with whom I do this). It's a good exhibition, with some quite incredible artefacts, and the British Library continues to feel better and better as a space. It's certainly busy, with the piazza full of people, despite the stinking fumes and deadening noise of the adjacent Euston Road.

After an essential late afternoon nap to compensate for the early start, more work and then out to dinner at Dim T on Charlotte St with Arup colleagues. Beaten by jet lag at 10pm. More work in the hotel room but essentially crash.

Photos from London, May 2010


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