Saturday, 29 November 2008

Ghost Ship of Hammersmith

Those of you who have driven over the Hammersmith flyover - or even looked up from the tube as you enter the tube station - are probably familiar with the peculiar looking building next to it.

(left) the Ark

This is the Ark - designed by Ralph Erskine who also designed the famous Byker Wall - and it's probably the most prominent feature of Hammersmith.

It looks like it was fated from the start - completed when the property market was in a slump and occupied briefly by Seagrams - in recent years the building has been empty - seemingly cast adrift between the Talgarth Road and the tube - and looking a bit sorry for itself with the lights switched off.

(right) the wide open spaces inside the Ark

I've spent most of the past ten years or so staring at it from my office window so it was great to have the opportunity to take a guided tour around the building and see what it is like inside.

On asking where we wanted to start the tour, the unanimous decision was to head to the Crow's Nest. From here you had some of the best views over west London - or we would have done had the weather not been so drab. Still very impressive.

The remainder of the building was very impressive too - there have been modifications to some floors as it looks like a sole occupier cannot be found and so occupancy on a floor by floor basis is being offered.
But the overall feeling of light and space suggested it would be a great place to work.
For anyone interested in technical details on the building, see the official site. The tour was arranged by HammersmithLondon.

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