I hit St Pancras last night, and at ground level it’s just another big-city railway concourse. But lift your eyes to the new shed roof, a web of semicircles and steelpins that span from back to vanishing point, and your experience transforms into that of Jonah. The roof is a fantastic piece of architecture that adds to the built environment.
Stroll along the waterfront near Waterloo of a Sunday, and it’s a tacky streetscape of souvenirs and fast food chains. But cross the river and look up, and it’s the Brutalist trio of Royal Festival Hall, Hayward Gallery, and National Theatre, a blocky man-made mountain range of uncompromising 60s concrete that – while not to everyone’s taste – brings the London landscape into sharp definition.
And it happens on the simplest streets. Or walk from Holborn Station towards Russell Sq, and along the way there’s an amazing Parisien style mansion. But unless you raise your eyes from the horizontal all you’ll see is a pub and a Thai joint.
When in London, look up. And then check your wallet.