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Towering Achievements

Our Magazines Editor Per Eyore Rodikal writes ...


Anyone excited by yesterday's report on the spat between Threadbone Estates Ltd and local protesters over renovations to the Old Rectory in Bradpole as well as, inter alia, mention of the stunning extension to Burbank House, will be fascinated to read an article in this month's Unique Dorset Towers by architectural historian Rowe-Tundd Cupola.


The TCTT: a fine example of representational architecture

Mr Cupola's essay on the magnificent addition to 18th-century Burbank House [architect Frank Lloyd Oats assisted by associate structural engineer Po Ridge-Oats] marvellously captures the excitement which surrounded its construction and properly contextualises its designer's achievement by referencing several other once much derided, but now deeply admired, erections. Chief amongst these [and featured on the Magazine's cover] is the Threadbone Corporation's Telephone Tower on Nob Hill, Sturminster. Christened by a local wag "the bell end" [but referred to by some - more respectfully - as "the policeman's helmet"], the TCTT is widely considered an archetype of 70s brutalism and a statement building in the pantheon of corporate capitalist non-socialist realism. It was nominated for a DRIBA* Award but narrowly failed to win in the Symbolist and Representational Landmarks category. The winner - the thrupiecefilm Building in Great Heaving [aka the Basket Case] was considered both more symbolic of the current state of affairs and clearer in its political stance. In addition it was significantly more over-budget, less ergonomically efficient, more expensive to maintain and far more prone to both leaks and structural failure - all attributes that DRIBA "takes very seriously indeed when assessing a building's suitability for a prestigious prize"


* Dorset Royal Institute of British Architects [presumably from the Greek τρύπα ["a hole"]


The thrupiecefilm Building in Great Heaving [aka the Basket Case] loved and admired by anyone who doesn't work in it or have to look at it for any period of time.

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