Alain's Special Building
Author Alain de Botton finds this building an inspiration
Author Alain de Botton has revealed his favourite structures in the United Kingdom...and this is one.
The 'Laban Dance Centre' in Deptford is one of the two buildings in the UK designed by the fabulous Swiss duo Herzog and de Meuron (the other is the Tate Modern).
The pair started off as cool modernists but abandoned the austerity of modernism and are taking a more playful route.
Laban, a dance conservatoire in southeast London, is an example of the new interest in ornamentation and prettiness. It's a remarkably delicate looking building.
The walls are made of translucent glass and are lined with coloured lights, so that it's like looking at a box of sweets through a frosted glass jar. Day or night, the light washes out from the building on to the surrounding grey landscape.
Architects like Herzog and de Meuron seem to be rediscovering the idea that buildings should be playful and beautiful, as well as functional and efficient.