Sunday, December 1, 2013

Bauzwangsvorstellung: Holiday Inn London

Of London's tall buildings, the best, the strangest, the most admirable are the decades-old, concrete chess pieces of West London, solitary sentries guarding these residential quarters. They make a striking juxtaposition in shape, size, height, and material, contrasting with the cream-colored terraces and garden squares. 

I spent a lot of time in London during the middle of this year, and could see the Holiday Inn Kensington from the window of my bedroom. It is startling and hideous, a massive wall of crummy, soulless hotel rooms, the largest building of the tourist-lodging district of busy Cromwell Road, which deposits foreign tourists from Heathrow Airport into ‘posh’ West London. 

The building makes an even more striking contrast nearby, as the hotel looms over the large and surprisingly quiet garden square nearby, Cornwall Garden. If the area had more tall buildings, the effect would be diminished, but this westernmost hotel high-rise of West London stands by itself. 

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