Black & Decker Offices, Bath Road

Oh boy, the 80s are strong with this multi-levelled corporate palace of brick, bronzed glass and mirrors. It was actually built around 1990 but could easily pass for something ten or fifteen years older. A geometric orgy of terrace levels, reflecting towers, symmetrical wings, stepped pilasters and two squared arches is constructed from a combination of bronzed glass, metal window frames, mirrored panes, stone steps, red brick and slate. It’s a dozen buildings merged into one. It’s eccentric, iconic, striking, impressing and amusing, silly yet enviable; it is perhaps the most opulently-imagined of the commercial palaces that line this stretch of the Bath Road at the edge of the Trading Estate, housing offices and headquarters and displaying wealth, power, ability and status. And just when the commercial-imperial mien of the palace can’t get any better, it’s topped by a glass pyramid.

Its playful conceit feels like the folly of a bored Mughal prince, given a heavy dose of 80s corporate pomp; it belongs in the opening credits of Dallas. But it’s a Faberge egg compared to the head-bashingly dull and predictable glass cuboids of office blocks that are increasingly replacing older, more imaginative stock (like this sadly-now-departed entry). Even if you hate its cluttered design and bombastic statement you have to admire the kitschy creativity and sheer balls of the design.


@sorceressrinoa and i were talking about how utterly mortified riku would be if he had trouble calling his keyblade back to him after even after becoming a master. he thinks the whole concept of strike raid is bullshit, honestly, who even,, throws a keyblade, come on, ,,