Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Chimney at the Window

Nothing is straight in this picture and maybe that's why I like it. It's not the front of the building and not a facade. Just a few functional pieces of architecture that we are not really meant to notice. In the middle, the chimney is a friendly sight though. Symbolically important as the conductor of smoke and air, it lets the house breathe. It is no less than a channel of communication. But look how it's shoved away at the rear of the house with no particular thought given to its proximity to the window. I am making allowances for the foreshortening effect of the lens, but even so ... The window is the main point of egress too in the event of an emergency. A triumph of function over aesthetics. This building to the rear of the Pembroke Road has served as a private school for many years, so it needs to fulfil various legal requirements. Like many buildings in the road, it no longer houses individuals or families but has been adapted for commercial use. But what is this collage of function saying to us in the psychoanalysis of space? There are things that we would like to ignore and so we push them away where they are out of sight. Out of sight, out of mind, where nothing is really that straight.