On Tuesday evening having been to the Barbican I went to see The Department Store, the building that my cousin Michael Squire and his partners (Architects, Squire and Partners) have moved into in Brixton. One year ago we went to Brixton to see the Old Department Store that I remember from my teenage years and found it all wrapped up. All the work was happening underneath. Now it is this glorious, extra ordinary unable to find the right words to describe it, building that every where you look every single space, every single detail has been so carefully thought about. I went round with my jaw wide open. I don’t know what else to say. When they took the building over it had been disused for a long time. After much careful consideration they decided to try to leave the building almost as it was. Not to cover the walls but take of the plaster and paint to the original colours, to show the ceilings and girders, the great iron doors, to keep the old windows and staircase. To make this building as far as I am concerned into a continuous work of art from the moment you arrive at the first window showing the joiners workshop where they build the minatures to the very top of the building to the beautiful dome.
Then a walk into a huge lobby.
With another wonderful window view into the workshop.
And a view into the architects office space, where they design amazing buildings being put up far and wide. Graffiti is left on the wall from the days the store sat empty.
The only graffiti the firm put up of their own is the image of their design for the dome at the top of the building.
Then of course there is the view downstairs when you get to the top.
And then and then and then. To top it all there is a fabulous bar and restaurant on the top floor where we ate the most amazing meal.
I was totally bowled over!