Tuesday, 8 July 2008

Rebuilding the Skylon

Demolished in 1952 after being the 'vertical centerpiece' of the Festival of Britain, the Skylon has remained an iconic piece of architecture - a lost landmark - which existed for just over one year. Designed by two young architects Jacko Moya and Philip Powell who were still in their twenties, and the structural engineer Felix Samuely. The base was 40 feet from the floor and the top 300ft high.

The sculptural Skylon symbolised the shining modernist future of post war Britain and has continued to do so even in it's absence.

Now President of RIBA Jack Pringle has launched a campaign to rebuild this lost landmark in time for the 60th aniversary of the Festival of Britain. The only catch (apart from the money) is that the old position on the South bank is occupied by the National Theatre and the cityscape is rather more cluttered than it was is 1951. So they are looking around for alternative sites.

We think that it should be rebuilt and are suggesting an open site South of Worthing's Beach House - already home to a set of beach chalets topped off by a clocktower, built by public subscription for the festival in 1951. The tower would match the current buildings, and allow the Skylon to be both the centrepiece and symbol of the regeneration of Worthing and the seafront. By night the illuminated Skylon would shine as a beacon to shipping and be seen from Brighton and as far away as Beachy Head and the Isle of Wight.

There is to be a national vote, on 10th July. If you would like to see the skylon rebuilt go to 'Vote For The Skylon' and say where you'd like it (but we think it would look fantastic on the beach! rather than lost in the clutter of the big cities)

The old Skylon was apparently melted down to make ashtrays - wouldn't it be great it aluminium ashtrays were melted down to make the new skylon.

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