London … and are Olympic Organisers planning to use Noah style arks as a mode of transport should the rain persist this Summer?

Finally! The rain actually stopped today and the Capital experienced its first dry, sunny day in weeks. Apparently though, it is not going to last so I made the most of the break and went on a rather enjoyable quest around Bank, Liverpool Street, up to East End Shoreditch and back down again to London Bridge and Borough Market to find more BTArtBoxes for my album (click here if you would like to peruse it).

With less than two weeks to go now before the Games begin I noticed a fair bit of Olympic buzz around town as the final preparations were being put in place. Outside the Royal Exchange by Bank for example, workmen were putting up a huge Olympic banner over the front whilst an official Olympic camera crew filmed the process. As I was taking a photo of the Exchange and Julien Macdonald’s BTArtBox design, the film crew suddenly pointed their camera towards me and wanted to film me taking a photo of them filming the workmen putting up the banner! I quickly retreated mumbling that I hadn’t got any make-up on (which was true. Being a Sunday I had given my face the day off).

Whose filming who? Unbeknownst to me at the time, my profile (thankfully my better side) was being filmed as I took this shot of the Royal Exchange and Julien Macdonald’s ‘Fabulous’ BTArtBox design between the columns and the workmen

Later, when I was walking through Aldgate towards Tower Bridge, I noticed a rather odd wooden structure in the middle of a traffic island:

Is it a naturally air-conditioned timber house on stilts by the Gherkin, or – considering how much rain has fallen lately – a Noah’s Ark?

It clearly wasn’t finished as it had barriers all around it, so I couldn’t find a plaque to say what it was.

Does Kevin McCloud know about this?

On closer inspection however, I found the following notice on one of the delicately painted stilts:

Ooo, so it’s for the Olympics is it?

When I got home I did a little e-investigating and learnt that The Architecture Foundation ran a competition back in 2010 to find a design for a new ‘aldgate’: a replacement symbolic gateway to the City of London where one once stood over 250 years ago (and hence the local area’s name), to celebrate the City’s role as an important international financial and trading district in this Olympic year. I guess this was the design that won. It does look very nice and certainly makes a refreshing change from all the modern glass and steel skyscrapers all around it (although these are almost as equally pleasing to the eye) …

Wonderful craftmanship

… but it does look more like an ark than a gate to me. Mind you, if this rain persists – which it looks like it will – it’s probably not a bad idea to have an Olympic ark to hand to ferry (no pun intended) athletes and officials to Stratford along those waterlogged Olympic lanes.

Good ol’ Lord Coe. He thinks of everything.

When it’s finished, I wonder whether it will be called a “Boris Ark”?


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