A Japanese living in London writes anything about everyday life in UK – cafe, restaurant, design, stores, politics, news, events, art/museums, films, food, fashion, travel etc. イギリス暮らしもかれこれ10年。カフェ、レストラン、デザイン、お店、政治、ニュース、イベント、アート／美術館、映画、食、ファッション、旅行等々、ロンドンでの日常生活や、英国に関する情報を思いつくままに綴ります。
£1.5 billion funded by Qatari investors and designed by Italian architect Renzo Piano, the tallest building in Europe (309.6m / 1016ft), the Shard was inaugurated yesterday. A light and laser show to celebrate the opening started at 10:15pm yesterday night, but they failed to illuminate the skyline as planned and it didn’t seem to impress spectators (independent). We can see a tip of the Shard from our balcony, and I saw some laser light and also the footage on TV, but it was just ordinary and boring, not spectacular as they claimed… →more photo
The Shard houses residences, Shangri-la hotel, restaurants and offices (from the top to the bottom). From the View from The Shard observation platform in the 68th-72nd floors which some 244m (800ft) high, guests are able to see up to 64km (40 miles) away, and even France when is a clear day, according to the Mayor Boris Johnson.
The View from The Shard will be open to the public from February 1 next year, and from today pre-booking tickets are available through the Shard website or via the box office hotline (0844 499 7111). The tickets cost £24.95 for adults and £18.95 for children, which is much more expensive than London Eye (Standard Ticket £15), the Eiffel Tower (€14 = about £11), and even the tallest tower in the world, new TOKYO SKY TREE Tembo Galleria at 400m higher from the ground (¥3000 = about £24.15)! Over 17,500 people had already registered to secure tickets in advance of their release today. Wow. If you are a budget traveller or think this is a rip-off, check here for alternative ideas to enjoy London’s skyline.
Central Saint Giles is a mixed-use development (residence, office and commercial spaces) on the east of Tottenham Court Road station. Designed by renowned Italian architect Renzo Piano as his first work in UK, the façades of this building complex is covered by 134,000 green, orange, lime and yellow glazed terracotta tiles. Due to its excellent location, many housing units are reported to have been sold to buyers from Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia seeking accommodation for visits to London and for their children who study here. The development has been designed with a number of features intended to reduce its environmental impact: biomass boilers which provide 80% of the heating and hot water; re-use of the water discharged from the cooling tower for irrigation systems and the flushing toilets; planted roof terraces to absorb rainfall.
The commercial spaces were hardly occupied at the beginning, but little by little the spaces have been filled up by restaurants and cafés – Jamie Oliver (again!) ‘s British Union Jack, our favorite hamburger Byron, Brasilian street food Cabana, ZizziItalian, café with yummy sweets Peyton & Byrne, and ‘healthy’ fast food Pod (opening soon). Mostly chains and nothing special, but the complex is located in the heart of London and the restaurants are large and have lots of seating, so it may be useful when you can’t find any place to eat – or if you are a big fan of Jamie and wants to contribute to his business!
奥に長細い店内は、悪くないけれど、いかにもチェーンという感じ。石窯で焼いた、薄くてクリスピーだというrusticピザも、不味くはないけれど、ジューシーさがなく平凡な味で、期待外れ。系列のPizza Expressの方がまだ美味しい気がする。カルボナーラも、味が薄くて塩をふりかけないと食べれない。もう、One New Changeの店には来ないかもしれないけれど、でもレンゾ・ピアノが設計したCentral Saint Gilesにできたお店には行ってみたいと思っている。
Zizzi is an Italian restaurants chain under the same group with Ask and Pizza Express Restaurants, and currently has 87 restaurants in the UK. I’d never been to Zizzi before, but I tried the one at newly opened One New Change when I went to the mall.
The interior of the this long and narrow restaurant is not bad, but it’s of typical chain and boring. Its “thin & crispy” rustic pizza baked in a stone oven, was not juicy and average, and quite a disappointment. I would think its sister restaurant Pizza Express’s pizza even better. Its carbonara is the same story – I had to put some salt to make it edible. I may not come back to the one in One New Change, but I may try another new one at Central Saint Giles, designed by Renzo Piano.
World-renowned Czech-born architect Jan Kaplický, who died on January 15 this year, escaped to London in September 1968 in the wake of the Prague Spring, the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia. He worked at the office of Renzo Piano and Richard Rogers, with whom he developed the design for the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris, and then joined Foster Associates, now Foster and Partners. In 1979 Kaplický set up his own architectural think tank Future Systems with David Nixon, and had created innovative and unusual architectures style that combined organic forms with high tech futurism. His major works include awards-winning Selfridges Building which became an icon of Birmingham, and spaceship look-like media center at Lord’s Cricket Ground. Kaplický began to spend more time in the Czech Republic toward the end of his life. He won the international architectural competition for the new Czech National Library building, which was to have been his first major building in his home country, but his design plan resembling a green and purple blob and nicknamed “the Octopus,” was cancelled due to the strong objections as it would “ruin Prague’s panorama.” Kaplický died with heart failure in his native Prague, just after observing his daughter’s birth, without seeing the completion of another of his project, the Congress and Concert Hall Centre in České Budějovice (Budweis), with his own eyes.
In this exhibition, you can see gifted architect and designer Kaplický’s major works as well as his stream of ideas for solar powered vehicles, electric cars, jewellery, bikinis and double-decker buses. His futuristic design, perfect for Science Fiction movies, is fun and exciting. It is a shame that the space is much smaller than another architect’s less entertaining exhibition “David Chipperfield: Form Matters” downstairs.