Florey Building

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The Florey Building, an accommodation block of Queen's College is one of the deviant architect, James Stirling's several iconic disasters.  As a student I was mightily impressed by the groovy amphitheatre-like glazed frontage, regardless of the unbelievably overheated result; students should suffer for his art.  It is a lasting testimony to Oxford University that the building remains despite its crass insensitivity to its environment.  Perversely it remains one of my favourite buildings, though thankfully I do not have to live in it...though my poor brother did!

Like all of Stirling's buildings it is now quite tatty with bits falling off, leaky flashings, fake brick panels flaking off...if you want more there is more of the same in Cambridge (History Faculty Library) and Leicester University.  I am told that his disastrous social housing projects in Runcorn have long since been demolished.  If students can suffer for Art, why not the proletariat?


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Jeremy Harrison 2005-2020