My walk this week takes a look at and listen to a small urban triangle in Swansea, South Wales. I had been looked at the patterns of tower block scaffolding on a number of occasions in passing and thought it would be good to find the opportunity to take a closer look. So, duly prepared with my kit on a dry day I set out to explore both the scaffolding and other features of a small area that includes both the Glynn Vivian Art Gallery and on the opposite side of the road, UWTSD Swansea College of Art.
There are three different eras of architectural design in this first stage (or side of the triangle) of my walk – the classical style of the Glynn Vivian and the College of Art, the more functional style of the early ’70s in the Oldway House tower block and the mixture of block and glass in the new entrance to the Glynn Vivian Art Gallery. I find interest in, even get excited by, the different styles and the details of their patterns and textures, but also by the mixtures of design and materials.
But there is one element that I would argue is essential to all, and that is nature – the tall trees that line both sides of the road between the gallery and the college bring an essential relief to the interesting but hard surfaces of the man made environment and without them our urban spaces would be nothing.