BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

October 9th - A casual observer might think I had a downer on the project to renovate and upgrade New Street Station in Birmingham. I haven’t particularly, but in my opinion the design leaves much to be desired, both functionally and aesthetically. A good example of the aesthetic horror of the design is the polished stainless steel cladding being erected on the Stephenson Place facade. Unsealed, and hanging from girder work erected on the surface of the old Pallisades centre, again, it stinks of bodge and bad taste. The mirror surface looks tatty to me; adjacent sheets  don’t always meet perfectly and where the sheets are pinned, the surface is often distorted and looks dented and cheap. 

Compared to the iconic and stunning Selfridges building, this looks like something dreamt up on a bad Saturday in the pub by a crazed Meccano fan. I dread to think what the rest of it will look like when complete…

May 8th - I’m fascinated by the Selfridges building that forms part of the Bullring in Birmingham. I’m intrigued by the curves, textures and interaction with the surrounding environment.

It’s a brave, bold piece of architecture, and I love it. I’m particularly fond of the car park link walkway, which looks like something from a 1960s sic-fi film.

It’s a surprisingly local affair. Built and project managed by Midlanders, The discs, freshly cleaned this year, were anodised in Walsall. 

You either love it or hate it, but it can’t be ignored.

January 10th - I keep forgetting to take photos in Birmingham. I pass through it every day, and am still failing to look at it properly. The New Bullring and Selfridges are classic night photography shots; probably cliched by now - but I liked the angle from Moor Street; that the whole thing was viewed from a restored, beautiful Victorian railway station, with the camera tripod wound around genuine old railings. The steam engine - supplied by Tyseley Railway Museum is a nice touch, too, although the track it stands on isn’t connected to anything.

November 15th - Autumn - season of mists and mellow fruitfulness. Well, we got the mists. Cycling on foggy days like this is unpleasant. in a short, 20 minute journey to Blake Street, 6 cars and 1 cyclist without lights at all. The usual selfish, aggressive driving. The discomfort of water condensing over your clothes and face. 

It does, however, add a pleasantly enjoyable air of mystery to otherwise unremarkable scenes. A challenging day for riding, and photography too.